Monye will run if released - police

2012-07-24 20:36
Murder accused former Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye would abscond if the court released him on bail, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has heard. (File, Beeld)

Murder accused former Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye would abscond if the court released him on bail, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court has heard. (File, Beeld)

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Pretoria - Murder accused former Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye would abscond if the court released him on bail, the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.

Investigating officer Captain Petrus van der Spuy was testifying against Monye’s bail application.

"The accused before this court [Monye] was born and grew up in Nigeria. He has a wife who stays in Nigeria," said Van der Spuy during cross-examination led by advocate Jeff Ledwaba, for Monye.

“He does not have any fixed properties in South Africa. Moreover, the accused doesn’t have a wife here in South Africa,” said the policeman.

In response, Ledwaba said to Van der Spuy: "Captain, I am sure that in your 18-years' service in the SA Police Service, you have testified in many bail applications. You know that the flight risk aspect is not based on speculation or assumption."

The muscular former athlete has engaged in a spirited bid to secure bail over the past weeks.

Monye, Andre Gouws, Preshan Singh, Willem Pieterse and Pretoria police detective Gerhardus du Plessis were arrested in November last year in connection with the shooting of a young Pretoria mother, Chanelle Henning.

The assistant school teacher 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 commit 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 19 to 30 November.

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

On Tuesday, Monye’s lawyer said his client had had opportunities in the past and did not abscond trial or skip the country.

Ledwaba cited the unrelated charge of murder against Monye in 2009. The matter relates to the murder of Neville Olivier following a road rage incident.

The trial stretched for more than two years and Monye was finally acquitted on November 8, the day Henning was fatally shot.

"Those four reasons you gave to suggest he is a flight risk were applicable in that case. He got bail, but still did not flee to his wife in Nigeria," said Ledwaba.

"He never missed a court appearance. At some stage [during the trial] a request was made that his passport be given back to him. That was done and he didn’t flee.

"The accused is saying 'if I wanted to leave, I would have been long gone'," said Ledwaba.

The case continues.

Read more on:    gerhardus du plessis  |  ambrose monye  |  preshan singh  |  andre gouws  |  chanelle henning

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