Henning suspect claims cops kicked him

2012-06-15 16:16

Pretoria - Eleven police officers took turns to kick and punch former Nigerian Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye after his arrest in November, the Pretoria Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

The soft-spoken muscular athlete was being questioned by his lawyer Advocate Jeff Ledwaba at the beginning of his bail application.

Monye, one of the accused in the murder of Chanelle Henning, told the court he was arrested at his residence in Akasia and taken to the Hawks' offices in Silverton, east of Pretoria.

"They were eleven officers in the room and I was handcuffed from behind. They were kicking and punching me," he said through an interpreter.

"One of the officers was recording the assault on camera. Afterwards, they injected me with some drugs that I do not know."

He said he could not walk the following day and was taken to Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

"They came to take me from the hospital on the same day. They took me [to] Garsfontein police station where they took photographs of me holding some drug capsules in my hands," testified Monye.

"My wrist was broken during the assault. My body will never be the same."

He said he could identify the officers who assaulted him, though he did not know their names.

Asked about the late Henning's ex-husband, Monye said he did not know him.

"I don’t know him [Nico Henning] and I have never met him."

Last month, the Hawks raided and searched properties belonging to Nico.

Police had questioned Nico shortly after his ex-wife was killed but released him without charge.

Monye rubbished earlier claims given to the court by Willem Pieterse and Gerhardus du Plessis accusing him of hiring men to kill Henning.

Pieterse and du Plessis are each currently serving 18-year sentences. They were convicted in December after pleading guilty to charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, and illegal possession of a firearm relating to Henning's murder.

Monye said if released on bail, he would not skip the country or miss a court date.

His lawyer referred to a previous case in which Monye faced a murder charge relating to a road rage incident.

"The trial ran for three years. I did not flee from South Africa then and I will not escape in the future," he said.

Monye was acquitted of that murder charge.

SA citizen

He told the court on Friday he was a South African citizen and had denounced his Nigerian citizenship "some years ago".

He told the court earlier that he had a 7year--old son who stayed in Bloemfontein. In February 2001, he married a South African woman, who died "some three years ago".

Monye, 38, said he had a South African passport and identity document, which were seized by the police upon his arrest.

On Friday, the documents, including Monye’s marriage certificate to the woman, were seen in court.

He said he owned a security company called Big Dog Security which was formally registered with the South African authorities.

The company was registered in 2007 and employed 16 people in the security sector, said Monye.

Charges against Monye and co-accused Andre Gouws were transferred to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria from 19 to 30 November.

Monye was previously cautioned in court to make "concrete arrangements" for his legal representation before the matter was heard in the superior court.

He had run into financial problems which resulted in his initial lawyers abandoning him.

Together with Gouws, Monye faces charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, and illegal possession of a firearm.

Monye, Gouws, Pieterse, Preshan Singh, and Du Plessis - a former Pretoria police detective - were arrested in November for killing Henning.

Two men on a motorbike shot the assistant teacher dead while she was driving along Manitoba Drive in Faerie Glen, east of Pretoria. She had just dropped off her child at a pre-school.