Henning suspect 'made large withdrawals'

2012-12-04 20:28
Andre Gouws (Picture: Sapa)

Andre Gouws (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - One of the men accused of plotting Chanelle Henning's murder withdrew R44 000 from his bank account hours after the murder, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has heard on Tuesday.

Hawks' cellphone data expert Captain Francois Moller testified that murder accused Andre Gouws phoned his co-accused Ambrose Monye twice before making the cash withdrawal, shortly before 14:00 on 8 November last year.

He phoned Monye again after the withdrawal and the two men spoke several times until they were both in the Sunnyside area, shortly before 15:00.

Gouws had only R971.08 left in his bank account after the withdrawal.

A former employee of Monye, who is a former Nigerian Olympic athlete with his own security company, deposited R31 500 into his account three days later.

Henning was shot dead near her child's crèche early in the morning of 8 November.

Henning's self-confessed killers, Gerhardus du Plessis and former policeman Willem "Pike" Pieterse, have testified that Monye and Gouws planned the murder and roped them in to do the dirty work.

Du Plessis, who admitted to pulling the trigger, and Pieterse are both serving 18-year prison terms following a plea bargain agreement with the State.

Moller testified that Pieterse called Monye about a quarter-of-an-hour after Henning's murder.

Monye called Pieterse back and phoned him twice more before phoning Gouws shortly after 8am that morning.

Monye and Gouws contacted each other several more times during the course of the morning, leading up to the cash withdrawal.

Moller testified that he obtained data deleted from Gouws's cellphone using a sophisticated new computer programme.

He also analysed information from the cellphones and cellphone records of Gouws, Monye and other alleged roleplayers in the murder.

Moller detailed not only the calls between them, but also their movements in the days leading up to the murder and on the day of murder itself.

He testified that Gouws and Monye contacted or tried to contact each other 142 times in the month before the murder.

Monye and "middleman" Pieterse communicated 77 times in that period, and Monye and hitman Du Plessis five times.

Gouws and his friend, Henning's estranged husband Nico Henning, were also in regular contact in the month leading up to the murder.

On the day of the murder, Gouws and Monye contacted each other 14 times. Monye contacted Pieterse six times.

In the days after the murder, until the first arrests on 14 November, Gouws and Monye contacted each other 25 times.

Monye and Pieterse also exchanged numerous calls and messages, and Du Plessis also phoned Monye several times.

Moller testified that Gouws had several photos of Nico Henning on his cellphone.

One of the photos was of Henning with Gouws' girlfriend Estelle Hepburn, who will testify for the State.

Through data retrieved from Gouws' cellphone, he traced an SMS Gouws sent Henning on the day after the murder, in which he wrote: "I'm proud of you my friend."

The SMS was sent two hours after Henning underwent a polygraph test at the investigating team's offices.

Two days later, Gouws also sent a message congratulating Henning on his birthday. The police could not find any other messages exchanged between the two men.

The trial continues.

- SAPA

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