Chanelle: Murder accused was at work

2011-11-30 20:55

Pretoria - One of the five men arrested in connection with the murder of Pretoria mother Chanelle Henning was granted bail on Wednesday.

Pretoria Regional Court Magistrate Kirro Pillay released Preshan Singh, 24, on R5 000 bail.

Pillay cited "exceptional circumstances for his [Singh's] involvement in the charge", but imposed stiff bail conditions.

Singh was surrounded by smiling friends and relatives before being whisked away in a Mercedes Benz.

An affidavit submitted to the court by Singh's lawyer, Keneil Muthray, outlines his involvement in the crime.

Singh said in the document: "The state has very little or no information to suggest that I was involved in the murder of the deceased."

Murder weapon

He said he bought a gun in November for R400 from a Mr Schoeman for his personal protection.

"A work colleague and friend, Martin Pieterse [his co-accused and also known as Willem], requested to use the firearm and I gave it to him. The gun was handed back to me a few days later and I gave it to Gerry Venter to keep.

"On November 15, my residential place was visited by approximately 10 armed men claiming to be members of the specialised Hawks unit who instructed me to lie down and began severely beating me by kicking [me] all over my head and body".

The firearm was confiscated and Singh was arrested.

The weapon is believed to be the one used in Henning's murder on November 8.

"My being kept in custody would mean that I would lose my employment which would have devastating consequences for myself and my family and would leave my family destitute," he said.

Singh also attached a letter from his employer, a Mr Sweeny, confirming he was at work on the day of the shooting.

He worked as a machine lubricator at Nampak paper in Rosslyn.

State prosecutor, advocate Gerrie Nel, did not oppose bail despite the seriousness of the charges being faced by Singh.

"It is not only a decision of this prosecutor but it is what we agreed with a team of experts including policeman involved in the matter," he said.

Plea deal

In granting bail, Pillay told the court there was no evidence to suggest Singh, the sole bread-winner of a family of three, would abscond the next court appearance set for January 17.

Among other conditions, Singh was ordered to report to the Hercules police station in Pretoria West every Wednesday and Sunday evening.

The magistrate instructed him not to make any contact, directly or indirectly, with three State witnesses - Shalom David Khan, also known as Sly or Rudeboy; Venter; and Schoeman.

He was told not to change his residential address in Pretoria without requesting permission from the investigating officer.

Singh does not have a passport.

Henning, 26, was killed in a drive-by shooting while driving home after dropping her son at a pre-school in Manitoba Drive, Faerie Glen, Pretoria.

On Tuesday Singh appeared in court with former Nigerian Olympic athlete, Ambrose Monye, 37 and Andre Gouws, 47.

The other co-accused, suspended Pretoria police detective Gerhardus du Plessis, 34 and Willem Pieterse had appeared earlier in the same court and are currently negotiating a plea deal with the State.

  • aarchaic - 2011-11-30 21:03

    the fact he was he aquired the the gun and an unlicened gun doesn't make a difference if he was at work or not. he is implicated by association. as simple as that

      aarchaic - 2011-11-30 21:26

      ok i'm assuming it unlicened but if it was not. laste time i knew (not sure if the law changed) if your fire arm was stolen ( this case given to someone else ) you as the owner is still liable for the damage the weapon does if it kills some one you are still liable to a certain degree...

      Hans - 2011-12-14 09:51

      Supplying the gun is as bad as pulling the trigger.Noone buys an illegal gun to protect him/herself. There has to be a reason. This guy knows everything about this case, therefore should be held accountable too.

  • kswanepoel - 2011-11-30 21:27

    Our Justice System is a joke. Mr Singh is worried about loosing his employment, yet he had no conscience when he purchased a gun for R400, which is obviously an illegal firearm. Mr Sweeny provides an affidavit that Mr Singh was at work on the day of the murder. Did anyone check security cameras? It's very easy for another employee to use another employee's clock card on behalf of them. Also, I must wonder had the Magistrate not been Mr Pillay, would bail still have been set on the low amount of R5,000. The State Prosecutor needs a slap on the wrists - why would you want 1 of the accused to walk away with only bail? Keep them all in custody. A mother, daughter and wife was murdered in cold blood, yet the accused enjoys the luxury of working and being able to see their families! This is wrong. BY THE WAY... what ever happened to Shrien Dewani? Why isn't he back in SA standing trial for the murder of his wife?

  • romeo - 2011-11-30 21:31

    and he never asked why somebody wants to borrow his gun???!!!

  • Billy - 2011-11-30 22:20

    He works as a "machine lubricator" yet after his bail hearing gets whisked away in a Mercedes Benz?? What circles does he move in? Clearly an indication of links to money and the underworld. His day job is just a sideline.

      aarchaic - 2011-12-01 08:14

      I wont say the money is linked to the Underworld. but i know that many indian families keeps their money within the family everyone helps out one another. Money is paid into a trust and if someone wants a car and everyone aggrees the car is bought.

  • Odette - 2011-12-01 09:57

    Sad that these people are negotiating plea deals - Did they in their ill state of minds once considered Chanelle, her child, her family? Driven by greed they never once pleaded for her life.....May God have mercy on their souls

      chinelle.manning1 - 2011-12-14 12:28

      I agree, how must the poor child feel. He doesn't understand why his mother is gone. :(

  • jenny.presto1 - 2011-12-01 10:44

    He should of thought about the consequences before he got involved

  • Harry - 2011-12-01 17:19

    Other than being a complete ignorant idiot, I can not really see how this guy was really involved in the murder, surely he will have to pay the price for buying an illegal firearm and lending it out(which I think he surely now realise his idiocy, and will be found guilty off). But to stretch his actions and say he is now guilty of the murder is a little farfetched, after all he fully cooperated with the police. One thing that is far more worrying is the way he was treated by the police, they start abusing witnesses and they will surely destroy the hole case that they manage to put together, abusing their powers is a sure way to through what ever case they've got out the window.

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2011-12-02 19:25

    I thought it was a crime to lend your gun? Surely there is a law against things like that? I'm sorry, I don't believe that he had nothing to do with it.

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