Marli Van Breda (Facebook)
Marli Van Breda revisited the crime scene after surviving an axe attack that left her family dead Source: Facebook

A South African teen, who survived an axe attack which left her family dead, revisited the place she was almost bludgeoned to death.

Marli van Breda, 16, who still has no recollection of the brutal assault against her and her family at her home in Stellenbosch on 27 January, made the brave attempt to return to the crime scene.

She narrowly escaped death after being struck on the head and had her throat slashed while her parents, Martin 54, and Teresa, 55, and her older brother, Rudi, 22, were all killed by a mystery man. No arrests have been made yet.

Flanked by police, Marli attended the home on the De Zalze golf estate to pick up her remaining personal belongings, her lawyer Louise Buikman confirmed, according to News24.

A family spokesman Ben Rootman said the condition of Marli, who could only communicate with her eyes, had greatly improved. She can talk and walk after being discharged from the rehabilitation centre and is staying with friends.

However, she has been diagnosed with retrograde amnesia, meaning she is unable to give a full account to what happened to her.

A statement released from the family said: "She is able to walk, communicates well and, surprisingly, given everything that has happened, has retained her sense of humour.'

"A long road of rehabilitation lies ahead as she learns to compensate for certain neurocognitive difficulties resulting from her traumatic brain injury.

"In some cases the situation remains for life,"

The only witness in the case, who escaped the attack unharmed was Marli's brother, Henri, but he also cannot remember the details of the massacre. No one else was in the house at the time of the murder.

At the time of the killings it was reported Henri notified the authorities of the murders and appeared to be "giggling" when giving details of the head injuries over the phone. He is heard in the recording: "My family and me were attacked by a guy with an axe."

After being asked if they were unconscious he replied: "Yes, and bleeding from the head', before chuckling, according to a Daily Mail report.

It was later said his irrational behaviour was his response to coping to the extreme shock of the reality he faced.

Psychiatrist Michael Simpson told News24 shortly afterwards: "In such a situation of extreme trauma, [if] he had just narrowly escaped death and witnessed his family hacked to death by axe... he had certainly just been through a peculiarly horrible and frightening experience. What could be 'normal' or possible reactions in such a situation lie within very wide boundaries."

Western Cape police told News24 over the weekend that "significant progress" was being made in the investigation, details of which he could not divulge at this stage.