A former Perth schoolboy will go on trial next week over the horrific axe killings of his mother, father and brother in South Africa.
Henri van Breda, 21, faces three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and one of obstructing the course of justice.
Martin van Breda, 54, Teresa van Breda, 55, and their son Rudi van Breda, 22, were found dead at their home in the exclusive De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate in the Stellenbosch region, east of Cape Town, on January 27, 2015.
Mr and Mrs van Breda’s daughter Marli, a former Presbyterian Ladies’ College pupil, almost died from severe head wounds and a severed jugular.
Henri van Breda, a former Scotch College pupil, handed himself in to police in June last year and was granted bail of R100,000 ($10,511).
The trial is expected to start in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Mr van Breda’s fate will be decided by respected judge Siraj Desai, who has been a judge for more than 20 years and presided over many high-profile cases in South Africa.
News24 reported this month that Justice Desai would be asked to appoint an expert assessor to help with DNA evidence.
Marli van Breda is on the list of State witnesses expected to testify against her brother. However, she suffered retrograde amnesia and it is not clear how much she remembers of the attack.
The surviving siblings have reportedly met since the attack but one of Henri van Breda’s bail conditions is not to contact any witnesses until the end of the trial.
The indictment given to the court after Mr van Breda was charged said, according to News24, that he allegedly tampered with the crime scene, inflicted injuries on himself and gave false infor-mation to police after murdering his parents and brother and trying to kill his sister.
The document reportedly said raised voices were heard coming from the van Breda home on Monday, January 26, 2015 — the night before the triple murder.
It said at 4.24am on Tuesday, January 27, Mr van Breda made a mobile phone call to his girlfriend, which went unanswered. Three minutes later, he apparently did a Google search for emergency numbers. It said Mr van Breda phoned emergency services at 7.12am.
When police arrived at the scene, Martin van Breda, his wife Teresa and son Rudi were declared dead and Marli was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The document stated that the home showed no signs of forced entry and no property was missing. The security company did not detect any intruders at the van Breda estate, which had high-security systems and 24-hour monitoring.
Mr van Breda was a successful businessman involved in property development.
The family lived in Perth for several years, mainly in Claremont, before moving to Queensland, then back to South Africa in 2014.
Friends have told The Weekend West that fear of crime was the main reason why Mr and Mrs van Breda left South Africa for Perth.
A business opportunity described as “too good to refuse” lured them back about a year before they died.