Ricochet News

New suspect briefly appears in court for Jayde's murder, case postponed

JULY 19, 2016
New suspect briefly appears in court for Jayde's murder, case postponed

Zolani Sibeko, who insists his surname is Roxo, appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday morning facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder, and abduction after police said they had linked him to the murder of Port Elizabeth school teacher, Jayde Panayiotou, in April last year.

The 35 year-old, who also has an arrest warrant out for him for another alleged crime, was picked up by police on Sunday at his parents' home in Greenbushes, Port Elizabeth.

Jayde was the wife of Port Elizabeth businessman, Christopher Panayiotou, who together with his alleged accomplices, suspected triggerman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nenembe, are awaiting the start of their trial for plotting her murder. 

Police claim that through their investigations including cellphone plotting, they placed Sibeko with Vumazonke and Nenembe on the day that they allegedly scouted Jayde's route to her school. 

Cellphone plotting also placed him at the Stellen Glenn complex, in Kabega Park, at the time that the alleged kidnapping of Jayde took place with Vumazonke and Nenembe.

The case was postponed to Friday, when Sibeko is expected to formally appoint private attorney, Louis van Rensburg, to represent him.

The State is expected to oppose bail.

In June, after a lengthy bail hearing in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court, Magistrate Abigail Beeton refused Panayiotou bail arguing that his legal counsel had not given any new independent evidence to show his innocence, which therefore means no exceptional circumstances exist to warrant bail. 

The trial is due to begin on October 3, in the Port Elizabeth High Court, and is expected to last for two months.

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