Andre Gouws and Ambrose Monye in the dock at the Pretoria High Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Asked what he and Ambrose Monye’s right-hand man had in common, convicted murderer Willem Pieterse told the High Court in Pretoria: “We are both thugs.”

Pieterse testified on Wednesday in the murder trial of Monye, a former Nigerian Olympic athlete, and Andre Gouws.

The men, whose charges relate to the killing of Pretoria mother Channelle Henning, are accused of conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to procure an illegal firearm and ammunition, possession of an illegal firearm and possession of ammunition.

They have both pleaded not guilty.

Two men on a motorbike shot and killed Henning, 26, while she was driving her car in Faerie Glen, Pretoria East, on November 8, 2011, shortly after dropping her child at a crèche.

Pieterse said he was introduced to Monye by the right-hand man, whom he knew as “Sly”.

Pieterse and fellow former police officer Gerhardus du Plessis have claimed that Monye hired them to carry out the shooting and promised them R10 000 each. Both accepted a plea bargain and were convicted last December of murder, conspiracy to murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of unlicensed ammunition.

Each was sentenced to 18 years behind bars.

Pieterse, a former drug-user, said he met Monye for the first time on October 14, 2011.

He also testified about his three previous convictions. “It was for theft, assault and robbery… No, I’m not a murderer for hire, except for this time,” he said, referring to Henning’s murder.

The trial was postponed until today. – Sapa