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Panayiotou case heads to High Court in September - trial likely April 2016

Aug 13, 2015
Panayiotou case heads to High Court in September - trial likely April 2016

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, was again postponed to 28 September 2015 to allow for transfer of the trial to the Port Elizabeth High Court.

The prosecution and defence will then 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.

Panayiotou appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning with only co-accused, and alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, after another co-accused and alleged middleman, Luthando Siyoli, struck a deal with the State to become their key witness.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Wednesday night had said that Panayiotou's appearance would be brief as investigations are still on-going.

"I know for a fact tomorrow [Thursday] they are appearing in court and it is just for a postponement, and the other issue is the investigation is still going," spokesperson Tsepo Ndwalaza told News24.

"I can confirm that, as the NPA, it is a fact that Siyoli is one of [the Section] 204 witnesses at the moment and we will be proceeding that way," Nwalaza added.

"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."

Panayiotou allegedly hired Siyoli, a bouncer in his employ at the Infinity club in Algoa Park, Port Elizabeth, to find a hitman, Vumazonke, 30, 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.