'Stress of case could’ve triggered Van Breda’s seizures'

Doctor James Butler diagnosed Van Breda with epilepsy earlier this month after the 23-year old apparently had a fit.

A screengrab shows Dr James Butler at the Western Cape High Court on 29 November 2017 during Henri van Breda's trial. Picture: News24/youtube.com

CAPE TOWN - A neurologist has testified high-stress levels could be why family axe murder accused Henri van Breda suffers seizures.

Dr James Butler diagnosed Van Breda with epilepsy earlier this month after the 23-year old apparently had a fit while with his girlfriend.

He is accused of the murder of his parents and older brother and the attempted murder of his younger sister in their Stellenbosch home in 2015.

Judge Siraj Desai has noted that in the two instances Van Breda claims to have suffered seizures: one in February 2016 and one earlier this month, he'd been discussing the case with his girlfriend.

Doctor Butler says the stress of the case could've triggered the seizures.

Butler has also testified amnesia following a seizure is not uncommon and that this could've happened if the 23-year-old had a fit on the night of the attack.

This would explain his claim of blacking out for two hours and 40 minutes that night.

Butler says he only made the juvenile myoclonic epilepsy diagnosis two days after Van Breda described his symptoms.

The defence has wrapped up its case and the trial resumes next year.

WATCH: Van Breda trial: Neurologist spends third day on stand courtesy of News24