Article: Andrew Stone
Photo: Phillip Nothnagel
Courtesy of Daiily Dispatch
An East London family is accusing the police of gross incompetence for failing to arrest a suspect for the brutal attack and murder of local businessman Harry Henman. His widow, Charlotte Henman, and her son Llewellyn told the Daily Dispatch that police had shown a lack of interest in trying to solve the murder, which took place in December 2006.
A local private investigator had even tracked down a suspect and got a confession from him, she claimed. “The police are completely useless,” said Llewellyn. “They have been given all the information they need but keep coming up with different excuses of why they cannot arrest the man.”
Henman, who ran a loan and debt collection company, was stabbed several times with a screwdriver and knife before his attackers threw thinners on him and set him alight at his company offices in Belgravia four days before Christmas in 2006.
Four months later, Charlotte and Llewellyn employed local private investigator Christian Botha as they believed the police were not getting anywhere. “Christian managed to track down one of the killers and got to the bottom of it in no time,” said Llewellyn. “He passed the information on to the investigating officer, who has done nothing about it.”
Botha said a man arrested while attempting to break into the Ann Bryant Art Gallery “ mentioned he had information on the Henman killing”. “I managed to get a hand- written confession from him last year February in which he gave all the details of how he (and others) attacked and killed Harry.”
The suspect is currently serving a term at a juvenile correctional facility in Queenstown for the Ann Bryant break-in as he was under the age of 18. “He said there were three other men involved and he has given me their names. I’ve handed all the information to the police.”
Investigating officer Johan van Jarsveld said he had handed the docket over to the senior public prosecutor who advised him there was insufficient evidence to prosecute as they had nothing other than the confession linking the suspect to the crime. “Until we arrest the others involved we cannot proceed with the case,” he said.
Charlotte said it was frustrating for the family as they could not get closure on the matter. “This case could have been wrapped up a month or two after the murder took place,” she said.
“All the money we’ve paid Christian is basically wasted because the case can’t be solved until these people have been arrested.”