Henning ‘hired sleuth’ to tail slain wife
R5m bail sought in drive-by murder case
MURDER accused Nico Henning allegedly hired a private investigator to tail his estranged wife, and paid a security company to install covert cameras in her house.
This emerged in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where Henning is seeking bail.
He appeared before Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair on a charge of murder of his estranged wife, Chanelle Henning, who was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle in November 2011.
Yesterday State advocate Gerrie Nel argued that Henning had failed dismally to prove the existence of exceptional circumstances permitting his release, while his defence argued that they had satisfied all the requirements.
Nel charged that Henning was a danger to society, would attempt to evade his trial, and would interfere with evidence.
Nel put it to the court that during an altercation with Chanelle’s mother, Sharon Saincic, he allegedly told her in Afrikaans “you know what I’m capable of ”. It was further mentioned that Henning had gained the reputation of “if I can’t have it, no one will”.
“We further argue that he will conceal evidence as he did so before, taking items relevant to the investigation away from his homes and business because he anticipated a search by police,” Nel said.
The court heard about a private investigator and security company being hired to spy on Chanelle.
“The applicant acquired the services of a security company to install covert cameras in her house illegally. This proves he had no regard for her privacy and would go to any lengths to keep an eye on her doings,” Nel said.
While the cameras were never installed, Chanelle was monitored and her cellphone records also illegally obtained.
“It is my humble submission that the applicant had no regard for the law, will attempt to evade his trial, and has at present no evidence before this court of any exceptional circumstances that permit his release,” Nel said.
Henning’s defence counsel, advocate Piet van Wyk SC, submitted that Henning had no assets outside South Africa, was himself a lawyer and so an officer of the law, and would therefore comply with his bail regulations.
Further, he said, Henning was willing to pay R5 million in bail, R100 000 of which would be a cash payment allegedly from his brother. The other R4.9m would serve as an assurance to the court.
Should Henning be granted bail and evade his trial, the court could then seize assets in his name to the value of the R4.9m.
Van Wyk argued that the State’s case was based on a “second choice” testimony by a “murderer, perjurer and unreliable witness”.
“He is looking for someone to take the blame for his crimes in an attempt to secure a lesser sentence. He already submitted two testimonies before the high court. He has changed his mind twice on the version of events relating to the crime, why won’t he do it again?
“The State’s case is weak,” he charged.
Henning will spend a few more nights in a police cell awaiting the outcome of his bail application, after the matter was postponed to Tuesday.
ACCUSED: Nico Henning, the husband of murdered Chanelle Henning appears in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
VICTIM’S PARENTS: Sharon and Ivan Saincic, Chanelle Henning’s mother and stepfather.