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Full recap: Christopher Panayiotou murder case resumes on Monday

Sep 25, 2015
Full recap: Christopher Panayiotou murder case resumes on Monday

The murder case against Port Elizabeth business man, Christopher Panayiotou, who is accused of masterminding the faked kidnapping and subsequent murder of his teacher wife, Jayde Panayiotou, in April, will again take centre stage when it resumes in the High Court on Monday.

The prosecution and defence, are also expected to decide on the trial date - likely to be on 19 April 2016, according to some reports. That will be almost a year since the murder of Jayde and the arrest of Panayiotou.

In his last court appearance in August in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court, which was brief, Panayiotou was alongside his co-accused, and alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, after another co-accused and the alleged middleman, Luthando Siyoli, struck a deal with the State to become their key witness.

"The charges have been dropped against him and he is a [Section] 204 witness for the State and we are confident that he will be working with us closely."

The full details of the deal between the State and Siyoni are not known. One thing is certain though, the State needs Siyoni on its side after it seemingly lost another crucial witness and Christopher's alleged mistress, Chanelle Coutts.

Early in June, Coutts had reportedly agreed to testify against Christopher before changing her tune by the end of that month and seemingly defended him in interviews with magazines and newspapers.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) then said that the brief appearance was because investigations were still on-going.

Panayiotou allegedly hired Siyoli, a bouncer, who was in his employ at his Infinity Club in Algoa Park, Port Elizabeth, to find a hitman, Vumazonke, to kidnap and murder his wife.

Jayde was kidnapped on Tuesday, April 21, while waiting outside her complex in Kabega Park for her lift to Riebeek College Girls' High School in Uitenhage, where she taught. Her body was found near KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, the next day.

The State has previously argued that Panayiotou had to get rid of Jayde as he was in debt and could not afford her and his mistress and employee Coutts. It also argued that he was in dangher of losing his inheritance due to the affair with Coutts.

It claimed that Panayiotou paid R70 000 in total for the murder.

In July, Panayiotou failed in his second attempt to get bail in the Grahamstown High Court after complaining about the appalling conditions at St Albans Prison. The court upheld an earlier ruling by Port Elizabeth Magistrate, Abigail Beeton, that he was a flight risk.

High Court Judge Goosens said if released Panayiotou could also tamper with evidence and interfere with witnesses and that no exceptional reasons were found for bail.


Panayiyoutou's legal team had sought to prove that Magistrate Beeton erred in denying him bail. 

At the hearing, Panayiotou offered a R200 000 bail bond, having previously said he only could afford R50 000.

He had also added another high-prole lawyer to his legal team, Advocate Mike Hellens.

The case has attracted much attention following several cases of people dying at their spouse's hand