Van Breda’s lawyer zeroes in on collection of evidence from De Zalze home
Tanya Farber | 2017-06-07 17:22:05.0
The heat was turned up as Henri van Breda’s legal team was unleashed on state witnesses.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES
Is Henri van Breda’s defence counsel‚ Piet Botha‚ building a case that the collection of forensic material at the Van Breda home was compromised?
Wednesday saw an excruciating court session as Botha cross-examined Warrant Officer Andre Hitchcock‚ who went to the scene of the bloody murders‚ at De Zalze in Stellenbosch‚ to collect and photograph evidence.
Before court adjourned until after lunch‚ Botha reassured Judge Siraj Desai that his lengthy cross-examination would eventually reveal something of huge significance.
“I know we are labouring the point‚ but what’s to come is absolutely crucial‚” he told Desai. But the afternoon proceedings failed to produced a bombshell.
Van Breda is in the dock for the murder of his parents‚ Martin and Teresa‚ and his brother Rudi — as well as the attempted murder of his sister Marli.
After lunch‚ Botha questioned Hitchcock about how he had taken swabs of blood from a knife found at the scene.
He asked: “Did you lay the knife on the bed to take swabs of blood from it?”
Hitchcock confirmed he had done so‚ and Botha asked if this had not allowed other material to contaminate the knife.
But‚ Hitchcock said he taken the swab from the side facing up in the photograph — the side that had not touched the bed.
After lunch‚ as everyone waited to hear what Botha’s line of questioning would lead to‚ many people involved in the case — from journalists to the state to the defence to Van Breda himself — found themselves standing awkwardly together outside court one waiting for the official to unlock the door.
The case will continue today.