Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Convicted murderer Henri van Breda sentenced to life

Convicted murderer Henri van Breda sentenced to life

Convicted murder Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court on 7 June 2018. "These are serious and violent crimes committed against one's family members".

During a high-profile trial that gripped South Africa, the court heard van Breda smoked three cigarettes while waiting for his sister to die and did not contact emergency services for more than two hours after the attack.

As a parent‚ it made him sad to think of any family member sitting behind bars for so long.

Drakenstein Prison is where Henri van Breda will serve his life sentence after he spends his last night in Pollsmoor on Thursday.

The Van Breda family before the murders: (left to right) Henri, 20, Marli, 16, Rudi, 22, father Martin, 55, his wife Theresa, 54.

He said Van Breda showed no remorse and had not offered the court any explanation for what he had done.

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His claim had echoes of the defence used by Oscar Pistorius, who said he thought a burglar was hiding in an ensuite bathroom to explain why he fired four times through the door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Van Breda's motive has remained a mystery.

Before returning to Cape Town, the South African family lived on Queensland's Sunshine Coast where Martin van Breda ran a real estate firm.

Marli, now 19, suffered severe head injuries and has no recollection of the attacks, described by Judge Siraj Desai as "cold-blooded" murder.

"I'm searching for some human factor that to some degree diminishes the sheer seriousness of these crimes", said Judge Desai at a hearing on Tuesday.

"There must be something. I'm appealing to [you]: put before me some reason for these attacks", he said.

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