South African Family Axe Attack: Survivors Trying To Get On With Their Lives

The two young survivors of a brutal axe attack in Stellenbosch, South Africa are now trying to get on with their lives, despite the fact that police have not yet arrested the culprit..

It was back on January 27 this year when Martin van Breda, 55, his wife Teresa, 54, and their eldest son Rudi, 22, were brutally killed in an axe attack in their home in the luxury De Zalze Golf Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Marli van Breda, 16, survived an axe wound to the head and a partially severed jugular and was in hospital and then rehabilitation for several months. Her brother, Henri, 20, suffered minor injuries and was the one who called emergency services after the attack.

Tweet translation: Henri and Marli van Breda ‘love each other’.

According to IOL, there has been much speculation since the axe attack occurred as to who might have been the culprit, with the media insinuating that Henri might have done it, due to his minor injuries and various other rumors. However, the siblings’ aunt, Narita du Toit, said in a recent interview that Henri is not responsible for the crime.

Du Toit, Teresa van Breda’s sister, was interviewed by You Magazine in South Africa. News24 quoted extracts from that interview, where Du Toit said that she was horrified when she read media reports stating that Henri was behind the axe murders.

“He’s a lovely child who could never do something like that. You know when a child has done something wrong. You can see it in his eyes or body language but with Henri there was nothing.”

There had been reports that Henri had been taking drugs and was first in rehabilitation and then a psychiatric clinic where he underwent brain scans, but Du Toit said these reports were exaggerated.

“Yes, he’d gone for a brain scan but that was because he often had headaches. It turned out to be only a spot on his brain.”

She did say that Henri had received counselling due to nightmares he had been suffering.

Speaking of young Marli, Du Toit said that she was a “walking miracle” for surviving the brutal axe attack and that she was still suffering from retrograde amnesia about the incident and could remember nothing of what happened that night. Du Toit added that the whole family wants the person responsible for the axe attack to be found.

Van Breda family spokesman, Ben Rootman said Friday that the family is coping under the circumstances and “getting to grips with a terrible loss but continuing with the challenges of everyday life.”

“As regards the case, it has always been the family’s policy to let the law follow its course and to allow the South African Police Service to do its work.”

The De Zalze Golf Estate is security controlled and there was no sign of a break-in at the time of the murders. Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk was asked about progress in the axe attack case and said that the investigation is ongoing, but that there are no new developments to report eight months after the attack.

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