‘All would have gained from Henning's death’Comment on this story
The husband of murdered Pretoria mother Chanelle Henning had her followed, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday.
“(Andre Gouws) assisted his friend in a divorce matter that had to do with the custody of the child,” Daan Mostert, the lawyer for murder accused Gouws, told the court.
“This friend of (Gouws) is Nico Henning.”
Gouws and Ambrose Monye are accused of killing Henning, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to procure an illegal firearm and ammunition, and possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.
They have pleaded not guilty.
Mostert told the court his client intended testifying that he followed Chanelle on Nico's request.
He said this was to determine whether Chanelle used drugs, and if so where she bought them.
“His (Gouws's) problem was time.”
Therefore, he asked Monye to use some of the people who worked for him to follow Chanelle.
Two men on a motorbike shot and killed Chanelle, 26, while she was driving her car in Faerie Glen, Pretoria East, on November 8, 2011, shortly after dropping off her child at a creche.
Mostert was cross-examining convicted murderer Willem Pieterse, who maintained that he and fellow former police officer Gerhardus du Plessis were hired not to observe Chanelle, but to kill her.
“He (Gouws) can say what he wants, but I'm telling you he is lying.”
Pieterse and Du Plessis have claimed that Monye hired them to carry out the shooting and that he promised them R10,000 each.
Both accepted a plea bargain and were convicted in December last year of murder, conspiracy to murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm, and possession of unlicensed ammunition. Each was sentenced to 18 years behind bars.
Mostert asked Pieterse about his plea arrangement with the State.
“I am a man. I don't have to waste time,” he told Mostert when asked about the conditions of his plea bargain.
He said no conditions had been offered to him for his statement.
“I thank the good Lord that I only got 18 years.”
It was put to him that no one had stood to gain anything by Chanelle's death.
“If no one was caught, everyone would have benefited,” he said.
He earlier testified that it was not in his nature to kill.
“I just could not shoot her. It is not in my nature to kill people,” he said when asked about a failed attempt to murder Chanelle.
“I was only the motorcycle driver. I am not the leader.”
Mostert asked Pieterse about his decision to take part in the murder.
“I did not think at all. I just did,” he said.
The second witness to testify was Du Plessis.
He said that apart from the murder conviction, he had also been convicted of corruption in February and sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Asked who had shot and killed Chanelle, he answered: “It was me”.
The trial was postponed until Friday, when cross-examination continues. - Sapa