Van Breda was ‘too scared’ to help brother, father fight attacker

Henri Van Breda is accused of the murder of his parents and older brother, and the attempted of his younger sister in the Stellenbosch home in January 2015.

Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court on 30 October 2017. Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Family axe murder accused Henri van Breda says he didn't help his brother and father fight off an attacker because he was scared.

Van Breda is accused of the murder of his parents and older brother, and the attempted of his younger sister in the Stellenbosch home in January 2015.

The 22-year-old claims two intruders invaded their home.

The accused had to pause a few times during his testimony, especially when describing the details of the attack on his family.

WATCH: Henri van Breda's testimony courtesy of News24

Van Breda says he was in the bathroom when he heard strange sounds coming from the room he shared with his older brother.

He says when he left the bathroom to investigate, he saw a silhouette of a man attacking his brother.

Van Breda claims he shouted for help and his father arrived.

The accused testifies that his father apparently lunged at the attacker, but was quickly knocked down when the masked intruder hit him with an axe. He was hit repeatedly.

Van Breda says he then heard a voice say: “Wat gaan hier aan (What’s happening here)?”, which led the attacker to leave the room towards his mother.

The accused says he was watching from behind a wall, and was too scared at that point to do anything.

The alleged axe murderer also admitted he first called his girlfriend after three members of his family were killed and only afterwards Googled numbers for emergency services.