Sergeant Marlon Appollis is no ordinary detective. He has been charged with investigating three of the most talked about murder mysteries – all at once.

Appollis has been cited as the investigating officer in the:

  • Van Breda axe murder case for which Henri van Breda has been charged;

  • Murder case of Susan Rohde who was allegedly killed by her husband‚ Johannesburg multi-millionaire Jason Rohde and;

  • Murder and rape case of Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius for which four men have been arrested.

On Friday Appollis found himself in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court for the Cornelius matter. However‚ according to a colleague‚ he could not be in court for Rohde’s brief appearance on Tuesday.

One of his co-investigators was there when the businessman was formally charged with his wife’s murder in July last year. It emerged that just months prior to her death she allegedly discovered that he had been having an affair with a younger woman.

Rohde‚ from Johannesburg‚ described Appollis’ and other officers’ conduct during his arrest‚ in August last year‚ as ”traumatic” and invasive”.

Sergeant Marlon Appollis


“I was at home with my three minor daughters. Detectives Appollis and Adams arrived with approximately six armed members of the SAPS. The detective showed me his badge and stated he was arresting me. He did not have a warrant for my arrest‚” Rohde alleged in court papers.

It is understood that Appollis and colleagues then drove with Rohde all the way to Stellenbosch for his first court appearance. In just over a week Appollis will travel to the high court in Cape Town where Van Breda’s trial will resume.

The youngster has been charged with the murder of his mother Teresa‚ father Martin and brother Rudi in 2015 at their luxury home on the De Zalze estate. He is also in the dock for the attempted murder of his sister Marli and defeating the ends of justice.

He maintained he had also been attacked by an axe-wielding‚ balaclava-wearing man. However‚ he managed to escape with minor injuries. When he was taken in for questioning Van Breda claimed Appollis was one of the officers who had led him to a double cab bakkie.

I was directed to the back seat and was told I was being taking for medical attention‚” Van Breda said in court papers.

“I overheard them saying that Marli had been administered a drug that makes her ‘wide awake and telling us everything’. I enquired about my family members‚ but they refused to provide me with any details.”

The officer is often seen lugging piles of files to court and listens carefully during proceedings. Despite his workload he smiles often and appears relaxed.

Van Breda will be in court on August 7 and Rohde is set to appear on August 18. Vernon Witbooi‚ Geraldo Parsons‚ Nashville Julius‚ and Eben van Niekerk will return to court on September 28 for the rape and murder of Cornelius.

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