On Tuesday, Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai “reluctantly” postponed court proceedings to 27 November, but said he wants the trial to be wrapped up by the end of this month.
Defence lawyer Piet Botha revealed on Monday that Van Breda had a seizure last Wednesday and had spent the weekend undergoing medical tests.
He said neurosurgeon Dr James Butler diagnosed Van Breda with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, adding that his client had been having “petit mal seizures for some time”.
Dr Butler is expected to shed light on the two hours and forty minutes which 23-year-old Van Breda claims he lost consciousness on the night of the attack which saw his father, mother and brother killed, and his sister badly injured.
Botha said an EEG or brain scan used to make the diagnosis of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy was available, but Dr Butler would need time to work on a more comprehensive report.
Furthermore, he said a psychologist, who is also expected to take the stand to explain Van Breda’s emotional reactions after the attacks, may need to amend a section of her report once she has received the neurologist’s report.
Senior State prosecutor Susan Galloway did not object to the defence calling Dr Butler, who was previously on the State’s witness list.
“I am reluctant, but I will postpone the trial as it is in the interests of justice to do so,” said Desai.
Van Breda has pleaded not guilty to the murders which occurred in January 2015 at the family home in Stellenbosch.