Bloemfontein – Convicted killers Ambrose Monye and Andre Gouws were motivated by greed and money when they killed Chanelle Henning, the Supreme Court of Appeal said on Thursday.
“Monye and Gouws played a pivotal role. They were key players in the murder. They designed and refined what was going to happen. The love of money killed an innocent woman in broad daylight,” Justice Lebotsang Bosielo said.
He said the murder qualified for life sentences.
The two want the SCA to overturn their sentences and replace them with 20-year jail terms.
During arguments, prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked the SCA not to interfere with the life sentences the trial court had imposed. He said the killing was horrible and the sentences suited the crime.
Judgment was reserved.
'Callous and cold-blooded'
On January 5, 2014 Pretoria High Court Judge Johan Kruger described Monye and Gouws as callous, cold-blooded killers. He sentenced them to life imprisonment despite their belated confession of guilt.
The two only confessed their role in the young mother's contract killing after they were convicted. Kruger found they only did so to save their own hides. He found no reason to impose a lesser sentence.
Two men on a motorcycle shot and killed Henning shortly after she had dropped off her child at a crèche at Faerie Glen, in the east of Pretoria, on November 8, 2011.
Former policeman Gerhardus du Plessis and his friend Willem Pieterse pleaded guilty to the murder and were each sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
Monye admitted he had acted as middleman and recruited the hitmen after Gouws offered him R50 000.
Nico Henning was arrested in December 2013, shortly after Gouws testified that Nico had offered him R1m to murder his “troublesome” estranged wife. The Hennings were involved in a custody battle over their child.
His trial on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder was expected to start in the High Court in Pretoria on October 10.