Van Breda’s legal team to call first witnesses

The 22-year-old is accused of the murder of his parents and older brother, and the attempted murder of his younger sister.

Family axe murder accused Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court on 9 October 2017. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Family axe murder accused Henri van Breda's legal team will be calling its first witnesses today.

Van Breda has decided not to take to the stand for now.

The 22-year-old is accused of the murder of his parents and older brother, and the attempted murder of his younger sister in their Stellenbosch home in January 2015.

He has been on trial in the Western Cape High Court for more than a month and now it's his lawyers' turn to present their case.

The defence is expected to call three expert witnesses, including private forensic pathologist Reggie Perumal, who was part of the legal team of convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius.

Two lay witnesses are also on the defence's list.

Last month, Judge Siraj Desai dismissed an application brought by the defence to allow the accused to testify after the expert witnesses.

At the time, defence advocate Pieter Botha indicated his client will not be testifying.

If he decides to testify at a later stage, the defence would have to bring another application before the court.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)