Van Breda trial: Security official says no alarms went off on night of murders
Sergeant Adrian Kleynhans, the first responding police officer, told the court he did not see evidence that there had been a burglary when he arrived at the scene.
Henri van Breda. Picture: Catherine Rice/ANA
A security official who was on duty on the night of the murders of the Van Breda family members repeatedly testified on Wednesday that no alarm sounded on the night of the murders.
This is according to a report by IOL which further stated that the security guard, Lorenzo Afrika, had said if an alarm had gone off, he would have been dispatched in a bid to find out what had caused the disturbance.
Afrika said this while being cross-examined in the Western Cape High Court by defence lawyer, Matthys Combrink in the trial of Henri Van Breda, who has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder, one of attempted murder and one of defeating the ends of justice.
Van Breda’s mother Teresa, father Martin, and brother Rudi all died in an attack when they were set upon with an axe or “similarly sharp object”. Van Breda’s sister, Marli, who was 16 years old at the time, suffered a severe brain injury. She has since returned to school, but has retrograde amnesia and therefore remembers nothing of the events
Combrink reportedly read to the court that from the security notes, on the night of the murders, at least two alarms went off. Afrika, however, reportedly said he was not told about these alarms and that he would have been dispatched to investigate if an alarm had been set off.
The report further stated that Afrika now works in the administration for the De Zalze Estate but at the time of the incident, he worked as a security guard for the estate’s security.
In response to Combrink’s questions, Afrika reportedly described the types of cameras on the estate and how he would radio to the control room and test the cameras.
TimesLIVE further reports that the report stated that on the night in question, a kiosk that is allegedly used to store “energisers that power the fence”, was opened, yet Afrika testified that the door being open would be “very strange” as it was “always locked” and only the security company had keys to it.
It was further reported that Combrink said that another security official had noted “unusual alarms being activated at around lunchtime on January 26”.
TimesLIVE also reported that Judge Siraj Desai “wryly” commented to Combrink that, “These are rich people, Mr Combrink!” His comment came after Afrika had answered in the affirmative to Combrink’s question that despite the estate’s security measures, some people thought it was still necessary to protect themselves.
News24 reports that Pieter Botha, for Van Breda, cross-examined Sergeant Adrian Kleynhans, who was the first responding police officer, and that Kleynhans had told the court he did not see evidence that there had been a burglary when he arrived at the scene and that valuables, such as a laptop and a handbag, were still in the house in plain view.