File photo: Murdered assistant teacher Chanelle Henning. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Convicted murderer Willem Pieterse testified in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday about his life of thuggery and drug abuse.

He was testifying in the trial of former Nigerian Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye and Andre Gouws, who stand accused of murdering Pretoria mother Channelle Henning.

“We are both thugs,” he said when asked what he and “Sly”, Monye's right hand man, had in common.

“You can see it. Body language, the way you talk. Those things say a lot.”

He said Sly introduced him to Monye.

Pieterse, who is serving a jail term for his role in the murder, told the court that Monye commissioned him for the murder.

He said he met Monye on October 14, 2011.

“This is a dead man walking,” Monye said of a man who owed him money, Pieterse testified.

He explained how he, Monye, and Sly assaulted the man. Pieterse said he pushed his knife under the man's nose.

“I told him he must smell how close he was to death. Then I pushed him.”

Asked if he would do it again, Pieterse said no.

“If I think things through, there are many things in my life I wouldn't have done.”

Pieterse talked of his daily drug use.

“I used cat (a drug) every day.” He used cat for about two years and before that he used crack cocaine.

He said he had not used cat in almost a year. “ 1/8I don't miss it 3/8 at all. In the beginning I did.”

Monye and Gouws are accused of murder, conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to procure an illegal firearm and ammunition, possession of an illegal firearm and illegal possession of ammunition. They have 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 off her child at a creche. - Sapa