Mastermind in Jayde Panayiotou murder makes court appearance

MAY 4, 2015

A 28-year-old suspect believed to be the mastermind behind Jayde Panayiotou's abduction and murder is expected to make his first court appearance today - Monday - with speculation rife that it is Jayde's spouse, Christopher Panayiotou. Over the weekend, it emerged that he was allegedly having an affair with a 26-year-old woman who apparently managed his supermarket.

Police refused to release the suspect's name only hinting that he was very close to the slain teacher.

Allegations of premeditated murder are rife. It is alleged that Panayioutou's husband paid 31-year-old Thando Siyoli R80 000 to arrange the abduction and murder.

It is also alleged Siyoli later helped undercover police officers lure Panayiotou by demanding an additional R5 000. Police reportedly pounced on Panayiotou in Uitenhage after he allegedly paid Siyoli the money.


28-year-old Jayde was abducted outside her Stellen Glen home, in Kabega, on April 21. Following search efforts by police, community members and the family, her body was found a day later near KwaNobuhle township in Uitenhage.

She had been shot.

Port Elizabeth police reported that money had been withdrawn from her account at the KwaNobuhle and KwaZakhele townships. Still, police ruled robbery as the motive.

Her family had also offered a R150 000 reward for her safe return prior to knowing about her death.

Siyoli was arrested early last week and appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Stolen eulogy

In another twist, it emerged that Christopher may have copied a eulogy from the internet, which he read at a moving funeral service for Jayde at the Mater Dei Church in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth - raising further suspicions. The funeral was attended by hundreds of people.


Eastern Cape police are still searching for the man who allegedly carried out the hit on Jayde.