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Panayiotou murder trial: State 'ambushes' Defence with surprise witness

Jun 27, 2017
Panayiotou murder trial: State 'ambushes' Defence with surprise witness

The murder trial of disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman, Christopher Panayiotou, and his alleged accomplices, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, is expected to resume in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday after the State 'ambushed' the Defence with a surprise witness on Monday.

The trio are accused of conspiring and subsequently murdering Panayiotou's wife, Jayde, in April 2015, and trying to make it look like a robbery gone bad.

On Friday, the State, led by Prosecutor, Marius Stander, said it would again ask investigating officer, Captain Kanna Swanepoel, to take stand.

However, on Monday morning,the State called Warrant Officer Shane Bosch to the stand. He testified about how they managed to nab Sibeko through his cell phone number.

Bosch told the court that he called Sibeko's number and pretended to be from a cell phone company and told whoever was at the other end of the line that the number had been selected in a lucky draw all he had to do was answer an easy question. Sibeko fell for the trick and answered the draw question.

So that Sibeko can receive his R500 prize money, Bosch asked for all his details. Sibeko unwittingly gave the police his full name and address in Zwide.

However, police later traced Sibeko to his parents' house in Greenbushes. After his mother lied that her son was not there, police asked to search the premises and found Sibeko hiding in a bedroom.

Apparently, there was a lady in the same bedroom when officers started searching for Sibeko's phone. They called the number again and the unmaned lady tried to leave the bedroom with the ringing phone.

Defence Advocate, Terry Price, the accused the State of a 'trial by ambush' after it called Bosch instead of Swanepoel.

Sibeko and Nenembe's lawyer, Peter Daubermann, asked the court to adjourn to give the Defence time to consult.

The trial continues.