State concerned Van Breda could amend testimony

Henri van Breda’s legal team wants the option to call him to the stand once all their witnesses have testified.

Triple-murder accused Henri van Breda is seen in the Western Cape High Court on 21 September. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - In the Van Breda family axe-murder trial, the State has argued that the accused could amend his version if he testifies after the defence’s expert witnesses.

Henri van Breda’s legal team wants the option to call him to the stand once all their witnesses have testified.

Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai is expected to hand down a ruling on this matter next week.

Prosecutor Susan Galloway has argued that Henri van Breda’s legal team wants to check the veracity of its witnesses before it calls the accused to testify.

Galloway has argued that Van Breda could amend or even add new details to his version and the State would not have a chance to test this on defence witnesses.

According to the Criminal Procedure Act, an accused’s plea explanation is no substitute for evidence under oath.

An accused is also usually obliged to testify before the defence’s witnesses.

Van Breda’s lawyer, Advocate Pieter Botha, has told the court that at this stage, his client will not be taking the stand.

Botha says he wants the experts to testify before Van Breda, for logistical and financial reasons.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)