Ricochet News

Panayiotou murder trial: State expected to begin closing argument

Jun 26, 2017
Panayiotou murder trial: State expected to begin closing argument

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 Monday with the State calling its last witness.

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.

Last week, the trial revolved around how cell phone data was used to link Nenembe and Sibeko to alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke. Cell phone plotting also placed the two outside the Panayiotous' house in Kabega Park at the time Jayde is believed to have been abducted while waiting for a lift to her school.

The defence has been challenging the authenticity of the cell phone data arguing that it could have been anyone - this is after the defence failed to argue for a dismissal of the data as evidence.

To this, the State called Samier September from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) to testify on the student records of Nenembe. Apparently, Nenembe had enrolled at the NMMU in 2009 and in April 2015, he provided a new cell phone number for his student profile - the same number in question.

He also once gave the NMMU a sick note, which contained his cell phone number.

The State, in its evidence, has details of several calls made between Nenembe and Vumazonke on the day with the number.

Still, Nenembe’s lawyer, Peter Daubermann, has tried to argue that it could be by pure “coincidence” that Nenembe and Vumazonke were in the same area that day.

The trial continues.