Henning suspect's deleted info revealed

2012-12-05 18:02
 (File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa) (Werner Beukes)

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Johannesburg - A police cellphone analysis expert told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, he found it strange that one of the men accused of plotting to murder Chanelle Henning had deleted all records of communication with his co-accused and Henning's husband from his cellphone.

Francois Moller testified that he managed to recover call data and photos, which had been deleted from murder accused Andre Gouws' celllphone.

Although Gouws had deleted numerous photos from his cellphone, he did not delete so-called "thumbnails" from the phone's memory.

The retrieved photos included images of the road signs near Henning's house and a photo of the crèche in front of which she was gunned down on 8 November last year.

Moller also managed to obtain CCTV footage that appeared to show Gouws' bakkie and motorcycle in the road outside Henning's complex on 25 and 26 October 2011 and again on 4 November, four days before the murder.

The bakkie and motorcycle had distinctive yellow reflective strips and the motorcycle had a dark tinted windshield that could clearly be seen on the CCTV footage.

Gouws' cellphone records showed that he had used the tower next to Henning's complex on the same dates.

Moller used markers on Google Maps to show the court where Gouws' cellphone was when the photos were taken.

Three of them were taken very close to the complex where Henning lived.

Gouws and Ambrose Monye have pleaded not guilty to five charges related to an alleged conspiracy to murder Henning.

The young mother's killers, Gerhardus du Plessis and Willem "Pike" Pieterse, have implicated Gouws and Monye as the men who had planned and instigated the murder.

Motive

Hitman Du Plessis told the court he did it for drugs and money but admitted the only payment he ever received was the R1 000 Monye gave him shortly before the murder.

Gouws was a close friend of Henning's estranged husband Nico. Monye is a former Nigerian Olympic athlete who owns a security company.

Moller said an analysis of Gouws and Monye's bank accounts showed that Gouws had withdrawn R10 000 in cash from his family trust account and deposited it into Monye's Big Dog Security account three days before the murder.

It also showed that Gouws had steadily withdrawn cash from his bank account between October and November 2011 until there was nothing left.

His former wife had paid R110 000 into his bank account as part of a divorce settlement early in October 2011.

He had withdrawn R20 000 on two consecutive days about ten days later and also withdrew R44 500 in cash on the afternoon of the murder.

The trial was postponed to 15 April next year.

- SAPA
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