Former Australian schoolboy jailed for shocking axe murders of his family

A former Sunshine Coast resident, who killed his parents and brother in South Africa, is set to spend the greater part of his adult life in prison.

Henri van Breda has been handed three life sentences for the murders, along with a 15-year term for the attempted murder of his sister and an additional 12 months for obstruction of justice.

The now-23-year-old took to his family members with an axe in their luxury home in Stellenbos in January 2015.


At the time, Van Breda denied carrying out the horrific attack, claiming someone broke into their home – killing his 21-year-old brother Rudi and parents Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55. His sister Marli was left struggling with near-fatal injuries to her head, neck and throat.

The family had recently returned to South Africa after living in Australia. Martin van Breda ran a real estate firm on the Sunshine Coast for a time, before they moved to WA.

According to, the former student of Perth’s exclusive Scotch College appeared emotionless as the judge handed down the sentences, which were expected to be appealed by his lawyers.

Van Breda’s girlfriend, Danielle Janse van Rensburg, stood nearby in the public gallery and the pair exchanged smiles prior to the sentencing.