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Estate security in the spotlight again in van Breda murder trial

The vulnerability of security at the De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch has been a key factor in the defence’s strategy, even during closing argument.

Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai & defence lawyer Pieter Botha look at the side of the de Zalze home where three van Breda family members were murdered. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Estate security has again been highlighted by the defence for family axe murder accused Henri van Breda.

The vulnerability of security at the De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch has been a key factor in the defence’s strategy and it’s been brought up again during closing argument.

Van Breda claims at least two intruders killed his parents and older brother and severely wounded his teenage sister in January 2015.

Defence advocate Pieter Botha has argued the Estate’s perimeter fence alarm went off four times between 1.08 pm on 26 January and 3.37 am on 27 January.

But the two security guards who testified on behalf of the State said they received no radio calls from an off-site control room to indicate this.

WATCH: Van Breda trial: State argues premeditated murder

Botha argues the fact that the prosecution never called on the two people who were working in the control room that night to testify, leads him to draw the inference that their information wouldn’t have assisted the State.

He argues the prosecution tried to present the Estate as being a Fort Knox, but this was not the case, adding that only 65% of the fence didn’t have cameras.

Botha also focused on previous testimony which painted a picture of the van Bredas being a close-knit family who had no major disagreements.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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