Police fear axe massacre victim may never tell what happened

Marli van Breda is seriously injured in an incident which killed her dad Martin, mum Teresa and brother Rudi. Photo: Faceboook
Marli van Breda is seriously injured in an incident which killed her dad Martin, mum Teresa and brother Rudi. Photo: Faceboook Contributed

IT'S feared that Marli van Breda's head injuries are so severe that South African police worry she may never be able to tell them what happened to her on the night her family were massacred.

The horrific attack happened at the exclusive De Zalze Golf Estate in Stellenbosch, the van Breda family home.

The family have strong links to the Sunshine Coast being formerly from Buderim before making the move to South Africa.

Ms van Breda's parents Martin and Teresa and her 22-year-old brother Rudi were murdered during the attack.

It has been more than a month since the January 27 attack yet no charges have been laid at this stage.

South Africa's Sunday Times reported Marli's injuries were so severe that she many never recover enough to tell the story of what happened.

Without her statement police will have to rely on forensic evidence from the scene to secure a conviction.

It has been almost a month since the attack happened yet there have still been no arrests made yet.

Marli's survivng brother Henri, 20 also showed minor injuries from the attack.

The Times reported a doctor who examined Henri after the attack said the cuts and bruises he sustained were self-inflicted.

It was also believed Henri was addicted to methamphetamine and that his allowance had been cut off shortly before the attacks.

The van Breda family in happier times. Photo: Contributed
The van Breda family in happier times. Photo: Contributed Contributed


Henri has not been allowed to visit his sister in hospital as it was feared she may dive further into shock if she saw him.

He has not been seen in public since the memorial service for his family more than two weeks ago.

The Times said the three paramedics who treated Marli and declared Martin, Teresa and Rudi dead at the scene were yet to return to work.

Colleagues told reporters it was one of the bloodiest scenes they had seen.


While Marli's condition was said to be improving, having being moved out of intensive care in Mediclinic Vergelegen in Somerset West, police have said that mentally she may never recover enough to give detailed and credible evidence.

If that's the case forensic testing was likely to take months to determine who were responsible for the murder due to backlogs at police laboratories.

A spokesman for the family Ben Rootman told the Times that Marli, the former Matthew Flinders College student, was making progress in her recovery and could now move her legs.

She also recognised family members in photos she was shown.

"The medical and support teams are doing exceptionally good work for which the family is extremely grateful," Mr Rootman said.

"They realise that her recovery is a long-term process and all attention is focused on this."

He said Henri was living with an uncle in Stellenbosch and was receiving counselling.

Topics:  crime editors picks henri van breda murder south africa van breda

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