Axe-murdered family's home for sale as son faces trial
THE multi-million dollar family home Martin van Breda bought on the Buderim hillside less than three years before his tragic murder in South Africa has been listed for sale.
It was the home, close friend Paul Freney said Mr van Breda always planned to bring his family back to.
And it has been standing empty since Mr van Breda, 54, his wife Teresa, 55, son Rudi, 22 were hacked to death with an axe in a luxurious golf estate near Cape Town in the early hours January 27, 2015.
Daughter, Marli, then 16, was seriously injured in the attack, but survived.
Henri, 20, at the time of the attack, only sustained minor injuries and made the call to South Africa's emergency services.
He told the operator "my family and me were attacked by a guy with an axe" and appeared to giggle as he confirmed they were unconscious and "bleeding from the head".
Henri handed himself into police on June 13, 2016. A day later he was charged with three counts of murder, one charge of attempted murder and one charge of defeating the ends of justice.
His trial, billed as one of South Africa's "most sensational murder trials", starts on March 27. Marli has been listed as one of the state witnesses to testify against her brother.
The last time Mr Freney saw Mr van Breda was in November 2014, two months before his death, and he was staying in the luxurious Box St, Buderim, property.
Sons Henri and Rudi were "in University in Melbourne" and Marli was a student at Matthew Flinders.
"We had coffee in Mooloolaba. He was coming and going (to South Africa and back) as he was building a school over there," Mr Freney said.
"I never saw him again. He must have moved back in November."
Mr Freney was involved in the van Bredas' purchase of the house in October 2012.
"It was a bed and breakfast when he bought it, but he changed it all around and made it a home.
"It was real African style home, roundish, with lots of woods and views over Caloundra.
He had all his African furniture in there and left his cars and furniture in there. He never rented it out."
Mr Freney met the whole family "many times" and was still struggling to comprehend what happened.
"They were a lovely family," he said.
McGrath Real Estate agent Damien Michael listed the family's Box Street home on January 31 for $2,490,000 on behalf of the Perth legal firm dealing with the execution of the family will.
Marguerite De Wet, principal lawyer and director of Perth's Leeuwin Legal said the firm was acting on behalf of the executor Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
"The executor winds up the estate, in terms of the will," Ms De Wit said.
We are going through the process and winding up the estate in terms of the will."
South Africa's News24live reported Judge Siraj Desai, a respected judge in the Cape Town high court, had been appointed to decide Henri's fate.
Desai was the judge involved in the inquest into disgraced South African cricketer Hansie Cronje's death in a plane crash in 2002.
News24 reported Marli has been listed as one of the state witnesses to testify against her brother.
Henri and his girlfriend, Danielle Janse Van Rensburg were also charged with possession of dagga in September 2016. They are set to appear for this charge in the Cape Town magistrate court on April 11.
South Africa does not have a jury system and relies on judges to make decisions.
The Box Street home offers "sweeping views to Moreton Island and has nine ensuite bedrooms, a caretaker's cottage, orchard and a dam and has DA approval for further six lot subdivision.
HOW THE VAN BREDA MURDER CASE UNFOLDED
- October 27, 2012: 21 Box St, Buderim home sold for $2.2 million.
- November 2014: Martin van Breda and his family are living in Box St home and Martin visits close friend Paul Freney.
- Late November 2014: The van Breda family move back to South Africa where Martin is building a school.
- January 27, 2015: Henri van Breda calls emergency services and says his family were attacked by a man with an axe. Martin, wife Therese and eldest son Rudi are killed in the attack. Daughter Marli, 16, survives but suffered severe head injuries. Henri is only slightly hurt.
- January 30, 2016: Marli is living with her aunt and uncle in Cape Town. She survived the attack but has amnesia and may never remember what happened that night. Police have made no arrests.
- June 13, 2016: Henri Van Breda hands himself into police at Stellenbosch (near Cape Town) station.
- June 14, 2016: Henri is charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of defeating the ends of justice. He is released on $100,000 bail.
- January 31, 2017: McGrath Realty lists the family's Box St home on the market for $2,490,000 at the request of the van Breda family's lawyer.
- March 27, 2017: Henri van Breda's murder trial to start.