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Defence: Van Breda's stuttering may have negative impact on case

Defence Advocate Pieter Botha has told the court that Henri van Breda has a speech impediment, that worsens under stress.

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

CAPE TOWN - Family axe murder accused Henri van Breda does not want his testimony recorded for broadcast purposes.

Van Breda has decided to testify in his trial, a move that could see the court draw negative inferences because the defence previously stated he would not take the stand.

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.

Defence Advocate Pieter Botha has told the court that his client has a speech impediment, that worsens under stress.

He says they are concerned that Van Breda's stuttering and muttering could have a negative impact on their case.

Botha says he does not want the accused's demeanour to affect how the court views him.

The advocate has requested Judge Siraj Desai block the live broadcast of proceedings while Van Breda is on the stand.

Desai says it's a complex matter and that he'll need more time to think about.

The judge adds that until now, the live broadcast has been unobtrusive, and that the court won't hold van Breda's stutter against him.

Desai is expected to rule on the matter on Tuesday morning.