Local News

Axe murder ‘survivor’ confesses to killings

He told police he had miraculously survived his family’s brutal axe murders – then he handed himself in to police.
Loading the player...

Eighteen months after he “survived” the brutal attack that killed his parents and brother, a man has confessed to their murders.

Henri van Breda, 21, has been arrested near Cape Town 18 months after the murders of his parents and older brother Rudi, 22.

Martin and Teresa van Breda and their eldest son were killed in their Stellenbosch mansion on January 27, 2015.

Their daughter Marli, 16, narrowly escaped death after being left with a severed jugular and fractured skull, while Henri escaped with only superficial injuries.

He appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrates’ Court, in South Africa, this week, charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

The court heard how Henri allegedly waited almost three hours to call emergency services on the night of their deaths and when police arrived at the family’s home, he was wearing blood-stained shorts and white socks.

Story continues below

Martin and Teresa van Breda were killed in January 2015.

Marli miraculously survived the attack.

Three of the five members of the family were brutally murdered.

Henri told police an unknown intruder had attacked his family members with an axe before throwing the weapon at him, knocking him unconscious, a story Marli was unable to contradict as her injuries had left her with severe amnesia.

Suspicion first fell on Henri when the doctor who treated him told police he suspected his injuries were self-inflicted but the case stalled and Henri had been free until he handed himself in this week.

Henri has been released on bail, after the judge ruled releasing him would not “jeapordise the case or public safety”.

Related stories

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.