Van Breda Murder: Timeline of a tragedy


Here is a look at the events following the murder of the Van Breda family.


26 January: Raised voices are heard coming from the Van Breda family home located in the centre of the luxury De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate.

27 January: At 7:15am police arrived at the home along with emergency services personnel. Father Martin‚ mother Teresa and son Rudi are declared dead. News breaks at about 10am. Sister Marli is rushed to hospital.

30 January: Henri is reportedly taken back to crime scene by police‚ but they refuse to say why.

2 February: Marli’s condition improves from critical to stable and is said to be under police guard.

5 February: The family’s funeral is held at the Morelatapark Dutch Reformed Church in Pretoria. Marli is allegedly removed from intensive care.

8 February: The Sunday Times reports that Henri’s cuts and bruises may have been self-inflicted. It also reported that Henri had spent time at a drug rehabilitation centre in Cape Town.

15 February: The Sunday Times reports that detectives may turn to the courts to get Henri’s medical records. Police believe Henri was addicted to tik and would need his records to substantiate their suspicions. The Sunday Times says it tracked down a man who claimed to have been Henri’s drug runner.

3 March: A family statement says Marli “misses her family a lot”. It said she “looks very good and the wounds have almost healed completely”.

1 May: The Van Breda family house at De Zalze goes on the market for R6‚2m. Estate agent RE/MAX says the house has four bedrooms‚ four bathrooms‚ two living areas‚ a pool and two garages.

4 May: The National Prosecuting Authority confirms that docket has been sent back to police for further investigation.

10 May: Marli posts a picture of Teresa on Instagram on Mother’s Day. The caption says: “Happy Mother’s Day! She really was a lovely woman. I can’t even explain how nice she was to me!”

23 May: Computer equipment and other items stolen from Stellenbosch Serious and Violent Crimes Unit‚ which is investigating the murders.

27 May: Police say some of the items stolen during a burglary at the Stellenbosch serious and violent crimes unit have been recovered.

8 June: Marli goes back at Somerset College in Somerset West full time and is doing “extremely well. “She started attending school on a full-time basis after it became apparent that she was coping with her subjects and was physically able to deal with a full school day‚” said Marli’s curator‚ Advocate Louise Buikman in an e-mail.

13 June: Marli and Henri meet for the first time in nearly five months Buikman confirms.

30 June: Judge Siraj Desai orders that Marli should live with her guardians‚ André and Sonja du Toit of Durbanville. Desai also orders that she may not be photographed or interviewed by the media without Buikman’s consent.

3 July: NPA confirms that police have resubmitted the docket for consideration by prosecutors.


14 June: Henri appears in the Stellenbosch Magistratres Court after handing himself over to police. He is released on bail of R100‚000.

6 September: Henri and his girlfriend Danielle Janse van Rensburg are arrested for dagga possession.

9 September: Henri appears in the Western Cape High Court for the murder case. On the same day two briefcases are stolen from the vehicle of his lawyer.

19 October: Henri appears in the Cape Town High Court with his girlfriend Danielle Janse van Rensburg for dagga possession. Both are out on bail.

27 November: Henri returns to the family home accompanied by his lawyer Lorinda van Niekerk and maternal uncle André du Toit. They spend about a half an hour there. The house had sold for R6‚2-million.


3 February: Henri’s pre-trial hearing starts in the Western Cape High Court.

24 March: Media24 brings an application in the Western Cape High Court to live-stream the murder trial.

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