Charges against Nico Henning, the Pretoria businessman accused of conspiring to murder his wife Chanelle, have been dropped. Chanelle Henning was gunned down in 2005. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the State was not ready to continue with case against Henning, and were forced to withdraw charges.
#ChanelleHenning Nel did not provide reasons for withdrawing the case - simply saying that the state was not prepared to proceed. BB — Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) October 10, 2016
Henning declined to comment, but his advocate Piet van Wyk said they have "taken note" of the withdrawal, The Citizen reports.
Chanelle Henning (25) was gunned down in a drive-by shooting near her son's crèche in Faerie Glen on the morning of November 8 2011.
Read more: Life sentences for Chanelle Henning’s killers
The couple were estranged and in the process of a divorce and an acrimonious custody battle at the time. The two hitmen, former policeman Gerhardus du Plessis and Willem Pieterse, are currently serving 18-year prison sentences after pleading guilty to the murder.
[BREAKING] #ChanelleHenning State has withdrawn all charges against Nico Henning https://t.co/yV5t7UV3wj pic.twitter.com/9sQeuKY2F4 — EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) October 10, 2016
The middlemen, former policeman Andre Gouws and former Nigerian Olympic athlete Ambrose Monye, were in 2015 sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the killing.
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Henning handed himself over to the police shortly after his former friends Gouws and Monye, who initially denied any involvement in the murder, had a change of heart and made full confessions to the police.
The State alleged in the charge sheet that Henning had requested Gouws to assist him in his quest for custody and promised to pay him.
The plan was allegedly at first that Gouws should plant drugs on Chanelle Henning, but Nico Henning allegedly later conspired with Gouws to have his wife killed.
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The State alleges Henning had provided intimate details about his wife's movements and also discussed with Gouws places where she could be "executed".
Gouws in turn allegedly enlisted Monye's services to recruit contract killers.
Monye allegedly obtained the services of Du Plessis and Pieterse to kill Chanelle.
After Gouws pointed out Chanelle's house and workplace and the child's school, Du Plessis fired the shots which killed her while on a motorbike driven by Pieterse.