In one of South Africa’s most infamous crimes, Henri van Breda used an axe to kill his parents, Martin (54) and Teresa (55), as well as his brother, Rudi (22), at their home in the De Zalze Golf Estate near Stellenbosch.
His sister, Marli, who was 16 at the time, survived the 2015 attack.
The attack has been picked apart in great detail, but his name has largely disappeared from the news since his sentencing in 2018.
He was given three life sentences, as well as an additional 15 years for attempted murder and one year for obstructing the course of justice.
This week, it has emerged that Henri has been relocated from Drakenstein Correctional Centre between Paarl and Franschhoek. He was transferred to Leeuwkop prison in Gauteng, reports The Daily Maverick, and suffered an alleged attack by a gang member.
The outlet received an anonymous tip:
“We heard from someone whose relative is incarcerated at Drakenstein Correctional Centre that Van Breda has been moved to some other location after his skull was split open with a padlock by a member of one of the Numbers gangs.”
Department of Correctional Services (DCS) spokesperson Sechaba Mphahlele stated that van Breda actually submitted a request in September 2021 to be moved to Johannesburg so that he could be closer to his family. However, he was assaulted, confirmed Mphahlele:
“…records also indicate that an assault involving Van Breda did take place in October 2021. His request to be moved was prior to this incident and, therefore, that he was moved due to the assault incident is untrue. We can confirm that Van Breda is continuing serving his sentence in Gauteng and he is in good condition.”
…Daily Maverick also learnt that the axe killer did not want to lay a charge against his alleged assailant with the SAPS.
Drakenstein, where van Breda was being held, houses well-known wife killers Jason Rohde and Rob Packham.
This may not be the first time van Breda has been attacked behind bars.
In June 2018, his legal team claimed he was attacked by five inmates while he was at Pollsmoor, and was “rescued by a fellow inmate who ripped a metal condom dispenser from the wall and used it as a weapon”.
However, Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo denied that such an attack took place.
A You Magazine report from last week says van Breda wanted to move to Johannesburg to be closer to his grandmother:
There’s a strong bond between Rika du Toit (98), who lives in Joburg, and her grandson. Just a week before he was found guilty in 2018, Van Breda flew from Cape Town to Lanseria to visit his gran as he wasn’t sure when he’d be able to see her again, the source says.
But now that he’s so much closer to her, she can visit him in jail during stipulated visiting hours.
According to their source, van Breda is housed “in a large cell which he shares with 30 other men, but everyone is expected to stick to the rules and over the long term prisoners develop a kind of camaraderie”.
The triple murderer is reportedly in his second year of engineering studies and has the support of some family members on his mother’s side, who “steadfastly believe he’s innocent and support him fully”.
I must have watched a different trial.
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