by Agency Reporter
A former Nigerian Olympic athlete, Ambrose Monye, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa. Monye was sentenced alongside Andre Gouws for the murder of Channelle Henning. They were sentenced at the North Guateng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, Steetjournal reports.
After having denied for months, both of them confessed to being involved in the murder of the 26-year-old Henning.
She was shot in Faerie Glen, in the east of Pretoria on November 8, 2011 just after she dropped her son at a crèche. At that time, Channelle and her estranged husband, Nick Henning, had been locked in a custody battle.
Henning was picked up by law enforcement agents in December after his best friend, Gouws told the court that Henning offered him a million Rands to have his wife killed. Gouws also told the court that he offered Monye R50,000 to find killers who would do the job.
The killers, former policeman Gerhardus (Doepie) du Plessis and Willem (Tattoo or Pike) Pieterse are already serving 18-year jail terms, following their guilty pleas to the murder charge.
The Nigerian Olympian said he is ashamed of his actions.
Back in 2011, Monye who represented Nigeria at the Seoul ’88 Olympics was acquitted of murder after he allegedly beat a man to death. The former athlete ran a security outfit, “Big Dog Security” but that was not enough to keep him off police radar for drug dealing. His lifestyle also drew attention. Though well built himself, the former athlete hardly ever went anywhere without his hefty bodyguards.
Authorities tried to investigate how he got his South African citizenship and if it was done legally. His ID number gives his age as 40, indicating that he represented Nigeria at the age of 14.
In Lagos, an athletics official who worked closely with Monye while he was representing Nigeria told The PUNCH that the convict did not represent Nigeria at the Olympics as is widely reported in South Africa.
He said, “He never made it to the Olympics with Nigeria. I know he ran the 400m for the country but that was at the All Africa Games. Right away I can’t give the exact one he participated in but he stopped at that level. I don’t know how the Olympics detail got into his CV.”
Words used to describe him by South African investigators include “strong and dangerous” as well as the “kingpin of Pretoria’s underworld”
Judge Johan Kruger said Monye and Gouws were callous, cold-blooded killers who only confessed their guilt to Henning’s murder to save their own hides.
“The murder was executed on an unsuspecting young woman and mother of a young child who did neither of the two accused any harm, who was leading her own life and minding her own business, unaware that ill-intended men were planning to kill her.
“Murder is always utterly repugnant but the murder of Chanelle Henning remains an act beyond any reasonable comprehension.”