Tears as Henning ‘murder plot’ unfolds
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Pretoria - Pretoria mother Chanelle Henning's husband Nico allegedly asked his best friend to order the hit on her for R1 million, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday.
“Nico Henning, her husband, approached me to commission me to have her killed, and I took steps to fulfil his wishes,” Andre Gouws tearfully read from his affidavit, in Afrikaans.
“Her death is a direct result of the request or commission by Nico Henning.”
An emotional Gouws told the court his best friend and friend of 24 years had offered him R1 million to carry out the hit so he could get custody of their child. This was to be paid in monthly instalments of R50 000.
He said he would testify against Henning and he had decided to tell the truth because “it was the right thing to do”.
The court was hearing evidence in sentencing proceedings after finding Gouws and former Nigerian Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye guilty of the contract murder of Henning.
Chanelle Henning, 26, was shot dead in Faerie Glen in November 2011, shortly after dropping off her child at a creche.
Gouws and Monye had pleaded not guilty to five charges relating to an alleged conspiracy to commit the murder.
The State argued that Monye and Gouws conspired with former policeman Gerhardus “Doepie” du Plessis and Willem “Pike” Pieterse (alias Tattoo).
Du Plessis and Pieterse are serving 18-year prison terms after confessing to their roles in the murder.
On Thursday, 49-year-old Gouws told the court he paid Monye R50 000 to get Pieterse and Du Plessis to shoot Henning because he did not want to kill her himself.
The court heard that Nico Henning gave Gouws the idea to use a motorbike to shoot his wife, and that he pointed out the creche, school, and house to Gouws.
Wearing black tracksuit pants and a turquoise T-shirt, Gouws said Henning had previously asked him to kill his brother after they had a disagreement.
He said Henning “tested” him on one occasion. When he arrived at his place, he told him to get in the car, and drove out of Pretoria on the highway.
Henning told Gouws he had shot his brother and the body was in the back of the car.
When Gouws asked where the gun was and what to do with the body, Henning told him he “passed the test”.
He said his brother had not been shot, but continued to show him where he would bury the body in such a situation.
Earlier, the court heard that Gouws, 49, decided to do what was right after looking at his daily Bible study book “What would Jesus do?”
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Gouws what he intended by coming clean now, ahead of sentencing.
“Will this benefit you?” Nel asked.
Gouws responded: “Not really. I have to stand up before the whole world and say I told half truths.
“The Bible says the truth will set you free, but in this case it will not set me free from jail.”
Nel questioned him about his motive and asked if he thought that by implicating Henning he would get a lesser sentence.
Gouws said he did not think it would help him. He said that by lying during the trial he committed perjury and that coming clean was the right thing to do.
The court heard that Gouws sent Henning an SMS saying “Proud of you my friend” after he heard that Henning had passed a lie detector test to see if he was involved in the murder.
In his testimony during the trial, Gouws admitted that Chanelle's husband had asked him to watch her to see if she used drugs.
The couple was divorcing and fighting over custody of their child.
However, on Thursday, Gouws said Henning asked him to plant drugs on his wife and get her arrested to discredit her.
The case continues.