News24

State's case weak - Chanelle accused

2012-02-16 18:39

Pretoria - The case against a man accused of arranging the murder of a young Pretoria mother was based on police speculation and dishonest witnesses, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Anel Jacobs told the Pretoria Magistrate's Court the State had a weak case against her client, Andre Gouws.

She said the two men who pleaded guilty to the November 8 murder of Chanelle Henning had barely mentioned Gouws in their affidavits, submitted as part of their plea agreements.

Gerard du Plessis and Willem Pieterse were earlier this year sentenced to 18 years imprisonment each.

Jacobs said the State's case was based on "two co-accused who are dishonest, corrupt murderers who could not stand the test of credibility".

Jacobs made the statements as she delivered her closing arguments in Gouws's bail application.

Exceptional circumstances

Jacobs said investigating officer Captain Petrus van der Spuy had made "loose unsubstantiated statements" and "vague allegations to make the applicant (Gouws) look suspicious".

She accepted that she needed to prove exceptional circumstances for her client to obtain bail. One such circumstance was the weakness of the State's case.

Jacobs said her client was not a flight risk and could have fled immediately after November 8, when Henning was gunned down after dropping her son off at a crèche.

Police had failed to prove that a Ford Bantam bakkie and a blue motorcycle, seen on CCTV footage outside Henning's home in the days prior to her murder, belonged to Gouws, she said.

Earlier, Gouws's two co-accused, Ambrose Monye and Preshan Singh, appeared in court. They were ordered to appear in court again on March 29.

Singh, who allegedly provided the gun to Pieterse that Du Plessis used to commit the murder, was out on R5 000 bail. Monye was in police custody.