The son of the family involved in an axe attack in South Africa attended the memorial service in Pretoria for his murdered parents and brother on Thursday. Henri van Breda was shielded from the media and initially police were reportedly reluctant to allow him to fly to Pretoria while the current stages of the investigation into the murder are still ongoing.
The family used to live in Pretoria where the memorial was held prior to moving to Australia. On returning to South Africa in June of last year, they chose to move to Stellenbosch.
Speaking outside the Moreleta Park Church where the memorial service was held, Henri’s uncle, André van Breda, said the family needs to protect Henri.
“For obvious reasons Henri is very heartbroken, and we will support him as the family. We as family are here for him, we will not disappoint him.”
“I promised Henri I won’t drop him.”
As reported on the Inquisitr, Henri, 20, survived the brutal axe attack on his family where his parents, Martin and Teresa van Breda and his older brother Rudi were hacked to death at their home in the De Zalze Golf security estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa on Tuesday last week.
His younger sister, 16-year-old Marli, was also injured in the attack and has suffered severe brain injuries and a severed jugular vein. According to André van Breda, “She is getting better every day, she is moving her eyes to follow instructions.”
Family and friends, some who had traveled from Australia, attended the memorial service to pay their last respects to the van Bredas.
— The Citizen News (@TheCitizen_News) February 5, 2015
Speaking of his brother Martin, André described him as not just a brother, but a “dedicated, strong and disciplined parent, friend and business partner.”
“He was always calm and structured… South Africa has lost a brother and partner in him.”
IOL reports that during the axe attack Henri escaped with only minor bruises and scratches on his arms, while sister Marli was hospitalized immediately following the attack.
Henri was able to make a call to the emergency services after the incident to report an attack by a “man with an axe” but no further details from police investigations have yet been revealed.
According to the police and security staff on the estate, there was no sign of forced entry and according to neighbors they saw no visitors entering the van Breda home. It has also come to light that the family dog was present in the home during the attack but no barking or other noise was heard coming from the house.
Marli is apparently under constant police guard to prevent undue influence on any statement she may make when well enough to talk. Reportedly no family members are allowed into the room and only doctors and the police have access to Marli at present.
According to André van Breda, speaking at the memorial service Thursday, the teenager is recovering a little each day.
“I received a call this morning and they were asking for permission to move her from the ICU into a bigger ward, where they will start with physical training.”
He went on to thank everyone who had supported his family after the tragedy and said that now everything is in God’s hands.
“What happened was something we had not envisaged, but it is in God’s hands”
“To his wife and kids, we will embrace our memories and keep you in our hearts forever.”
Sunshine Coast Daily quoted Father Jeremy Greaves, who officiated at the memorial service as saying that “We can never really understand something like this, such senseless deaths.”
“We can get stuck trying to understand something we may never understand.”
“We will feel cheated of a chance to say goodbye.”
There will be a private cremation service for the dead family members once ongoing police investigations allow the release of the bodies.
Meanwhile police investigations continue into the brutal axe murder in South Africa, which will possibly only be concluded once the daughter, Marli van Breda, is able to speak.