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Pretoria - A Pretoria Regional Court magistrate has described the murder of assistant teacher Chanelle Henning as “a contract killing”.
Edmund Patterson – who on Friday denied one of the men linked to Henning’s murder, Ambrose Monye, bail – said he differed with his (Monye’s) counsel (Jeff Ledwaba), adding that this matter may be distinguished from his previous case which was a road rage case “as alluded to – without contradiction – in evidence”.
Ledwaba has previously given the assurance that his client would not skip the country, as he had done with his previous case where he faced murder charges.
It was alleged that Monye killed Neville Olivier in a road rage attack in 2009 after they both headed for the same parking spot in Menlyn Square. Monye was acquitted on November 8 last year, the same day Henning was gunned down.
“This is a contract killing. This case attracts interest and media coverage. The public expects such arrested persons to be kept behind bars. Two of the four initially arrested in this case of murder have admitted guilt and the evidence suggests that Ambrose Monye’s implication therein is no mere coincidence, (nor is it) a fabrication or false incrimination,” he said.
Patterson said he did not believe that Monye was the mastermind of the plot to kill Henning, but that he had played a crucial part in securing men to assassinate the victim.
Releasing him on bail, with the evidence against him, would induce a sense of shock to society and undermine the faith the public has in court to keep such incriminated people behind bars.
“The big fish in this matter has, according to the State, not yet been apprehended. It appears (s)he has elusive tentacles,” he said.
Patterson said the fears of investigating officer Captain Peet van der Spuy, that that Monye might not stand his trial when released on bail, may prove to be reasonable.
Van der Spuy has previously testified that Monye posed a flight risk and that he does not respect the laws of this country.
Patterson said it was a sad reality that there were numerous examples of people escaping through the borders of this country, or hiding at length from the police within its borders.
“The fears of Captain Van der Spuy may prove to be reasonable. He has nothing to lose if he flees the country.
“He now is a pauper, reliant on others to sustain him,” he said.
Patterson said the facts showed that Monye’s little empire had folded like a deck of cards.
“He stayed in an upmarket estate, he drove flashy cars, he had about 16 men in his employ, his services were sought and he had contracts to render protection or security services.
“The court does not lose sight of the fact that such a person is admired by many who aspire what he possessed and the position he held.
“However, currently he has no income, he has no place of his own, he has no vehicles and his friends have deserted him,” said Patterson. - Pretoria News Weekend