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I would never evade trial: Monye

2012-06-28 17:00

Pretoria - One of the five men arrested for the drive-by shooting of Chanelle Henning told the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Thursday he would not evade trial if released on bail.

Former Nigerian Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye was in court for the resumption of his bail application, which was postponed earlier this week.

Giving evidence led by his lawyer, advocate Jeff Ledwaba, Monye told the court he had previously been granted bail by a South African court and did not abscond. He was referring to his release on bail on an unrelated charge in connection with the 2009 murder of Neville Olivier in a road rage attack.

The trial lasted more than two years and Monye was finally acquitted on November 8 last year, the same day Henning was gunned down.

On Thursday, Monye’s lawyer gave the court documents proving his client’s citizenship.

The soft-spoken athlete previously told the court he had forfeited his Nigerian nationality and became a naturalised South African when he married in February 2001. He said his wife had died three years ago, but they had a 7-year-old son who stayed in Bloemfontein.

Monye, 38, told the court his travel and identity documents were seized by the police as part of the investigation into the Henning murder.

Assault

The bail application was postponed to July 13.

Ledwaba submitted to the court that Monye's brother Peter had offered to accommodate him if he was granted bail. The State asked for time to verify Peter’s address and to consider the matter.

The prosecution previously rejected Monye’s previous accommodation options. On Thursday, he claimed that friends who had offered him accommodation had developed cold feet and were not taking his calls.

Earlier, State prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Monye was lying to the court about being assaulted while in police custody.

"Your version is a lie," Nel told Monye.

Nel put it to Monye that the doctor who treated him said in his report he had no fractures or bruises of any kind.

Speaking through an interpreter, Monye replied: "My wrist was broken. Even now, my hand is still swollen. The police also injected me and gave me drugs."

Nel: "You complained of a headache and the investigating officer [Captain Petrus Van der Spuy], who is in here in court, gave you Panados. Isn't that so? That was done to help you."

Monye: "I was given those Panados the day after I had been injected by police. I asked them to take me to hospital, then he [Van der Spuy] offered me painkillers."

Injected

Nel asked Monye to explain his claim that he got an injection.

"I was in handcuffs at the time. Somebody pulled my pants down and I was injected with drugs. We were in a room full of police officers."

Monye told the court he had not known Henning before the November 8 murder, and had not met her or her estranged husband Nico.

"I don't know him. Even if I see him now, I wouldn't recognise him. I have never met him."

Nel told the court that Monye's security company, Big Dog Security, was not registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.

At the end of his cross-examination, Nel submitted that Monye would abscond if released on bail, because he faced a lengthy jail term if convicted.

Monye, Andre Gouws, Preshan Singh, Willem Pieterse and Pretoria police detective Gerhardus du Plessis were arrested in November in connection with the murder of Henning.

She was shot while driving along Manitoba Drive in Faerie Glen, east of Pretoria. She had just dropped off her child at a pre-school.

In December, Pieterse and Du Plessis pleaded guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm relating to the Henning case. They are each serving an 18-year jail term for their roles in the murder.

The charges of murder, conspiracy to murder and illegal possession of a firearm against Monye and Gouws were transferred from the magistrate’s court to the city's High Court. The matter has been set down for trial from November 19 to 30.

Gouws was denied bail by in March by a Pretoria magistrate. Singh, who is out on bail, is negotiating a possible plea bargain deal with the prosecution.

Comments
  • erich.goosen - 2012-06-28 17:54

    It would be a grave mistake to release this man on bail. Nigerians are known for their disrespect of this country's laws and it is very likely that he would not stand his trial. Afford him the generosity of a luxurious stay in one of our five star institutions. He has enough money to buy him everything his heart desire.

  • Rowan Cranston - 2012-06-28 18:13

    Bring back the death penalty of you want laws obeyed!

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