Henning's killers have shown no remorse - SCA

2016-09-02 17:30
Ambrose Monye and Andre Gouws (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

Ambrose Monye and Andre Gouws (Herman Verwey, Netwerk24)

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Bloemfontein – Convicted killers Ambrose Monye and Andre Gouws have not shown remorse for the contract killing of Chanelle Henning, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) said on Friday.

It dismissed Monye and Gouws' appeal against the life sentences they received for the murder of Henning five years ago.

Monye and Gouws wanted to overturn their life sentences and replace them with 20-year jail terms.

"I am of the view that the surrounding actions of Monye point to the fact that he has shown no real remorse. He failed to reveal his complicity to the police in the whole year before the trial commenced; and during the trial, for a further period of a year, he persisted with his denial of any involvement," read the judgment.

The SCA said that only after Gouws revealed the extent of his role in the commission of the crime did Monye change his version.

"Even after that he failed to testify under oath and subject himself to cross-examination to enable the State to test whether he has shown true remorse."

Premeditated murder

Gouws had agreed to change his version after he came to an agreement with the State, on condition that the State would ask for 20 years in prison.  

"He [Gouws] displayed no remorse in the affidavit he presented to court, while his testimony during sentencing was also devoid of any mention of remorse. His change of heart did not constitute remorse if the surrounding facts are taken into consideration."

Last month the two argued in the SCA that the trial court had erred, and should have departed from minimum sentence of life imprisonment for premeditated murder.

However the SCA rejected this argument, and said the trial judge had not misdirected himself.

"This was clearly a premeditated murder. The murder by the two appellants in this instance was a callous and cruel deed, committed purely for greed.

"The deceased was an innocent young woman who was killed because she allegedly insisted on the custody of her son in divorce proceedings. Due to her death her child is without a mother and her parents have also lost a daughter."

On January 5, 2014, Judge Johan Kruger described the two as callous, cold-blooded killers and sentenced them to life imprisonment despite their belated confessions of guilt.

Monye and Gouws only confessed to their roles in the young mother's contract killing after they were convicted.

Nico Henning's trial expected to start soon

Kruger found they only did so to save their own hides. He did not regard this as a compelling reason to impose a lesser sentence.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel had asked for 20-year prison sentences.

Two men shot and killed Henning from a motorcycle shortly after she had dropped off her child at a crèche at Faerie Glen, in the east of Pretoria, on November 8, 2011.

Former police officer Gerhardus du Plessis and his friend Willem Pieterse pleaded guilty to the murder and were each sentenced to 18 years in prison.  

Nico Henning handed himself to police in December 2013, shortly after Gouws testified that he had offered him R1m to murder his "troublesome" estranged wife. The Hennings were involved in a custody battle over their child.

Monye admitted he had acted as middleman and recruited the hitmen after Gouws offered him R50 000 to do so.

Henning's trial on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder is expected to start in the High Court in Pretoria on October 10.

Read more on:    chanelle henning  |  bloemfontein  |  court

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