Four cases of men accused of killing partners heard

2015-05-04 17:30
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - Four high profile cases of women murdered, allegedly by the men in their lives, were heard in courts around the country on Monday.

Christopher Panayiotou, 28, the husband of Jayde Panayiotou, appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on charges of kidnapping, robbing and killing the popular school teacher, as well as conspiracy to kill her.

Panayiotou was abducted outside her Kabega Park home on Tuesday April 21, while waiting for her lift to the school where she worked. She was later found dead on the outskirts of town.

At her funeral her husband delivered what at first appeared to be a moving eulogy, but was later found to have been copied and modified from another. The police announced last week that two people had been arrested - and speculation that her nightclub owner husband was among them, proved correct on Monday.

Another person Thando Siyoli, 31, believed to be a club bouncer, was also arrested and appeared in the same court last Thursday. A third man will appear in court on Tuesday.

At the Magistrate's Court in Pretoria, protesters from the ANC Women's League filled the pavement and sang loudly ahead of the bail application of Richard Motswene, accused of stabbing Lerato Motswege to death last November.

Wearing a T-shirt bearing her image, and the date 1984-2014 under the picture of her smiling face, family spokesperson Mike Mabugane, said they did not want Motswene to be granted bail.

He said Motswene and Motswege met at church and started a relationship, but when Motswege started to pull back, he allegedly threatened to kidnap her, and kill her mother.

According to Mabugane, the accused found Motswege near her work at Edgars in Centurion, and took her to a guest house in Silverton where he allegedly stabbed her to death.

''We don't want him to get bail,'' said Mabugane, as the ANCWL sang songs in protest of violence against women and waved posters to spread their message.

His bail application was postponed on Monday to May 19 and he would remain in custody, Mabugane told News24 later.

Stolen firearm

In another case, Dawid Connoway, 39, appeared on a charge of murdering his ex-girlfriend Nicolene Schreuder, 35, who had reportedly dumped him.

He was charged with murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and pointing of a firearm at her work in Moreleta Park, Pretoria on Wednesday 29 April.

Answering questions by Magistrate Desmond Nair, it emerged that he had previously paid a R500 admission of guilt fine for assault in an unrelated case, and had once had a restraining order brought against him.

Dressed in a blue checked shirt and faded jeans, the unshaven Connoway acknowledged that he owned a firearm, but there was uncertainty over whether it was licensed or not.

He said it had been stolen and he had gone through clearance procedures when it was recovered and had completed the necessary paperwork when it was returned to him.

Nair warned him that he would be fined R80 000 or two years in prison if it was found that he had held back any information on past convictions.

Prosecutor Sipho Letsoalo said in court that Connoway got through the security check at Schreuder's work and a receptionist had called her down.

About three minutes later the receptionist heard shots. Shreuder was fatally wounded in the forehead.

Connoway then allegedly threatened to shoot a security guard who dropped a gate remote while taking cover. Conway could open the gate and he went to his mother Elize and stepfather Hendrick's farm in Bronkhorstspruit. When police found him hiding in a safe in the house on April 30, the parents were arrested too.

They were charged with obstruction of justice and were released on bail in their appearance on Monday and would return to the Cullinan Magistrate's Court on May 14.

Connoway's case was also postponed to May 19 for further investigation and a bail application, with the investigating officer Constable Lenners Ngubeni also having to clear up whether the firearm was licensed.

Taking a bath

And in the the Polokwane Magistrate's Court, Rameez Patel asked the magistrate to be released on bail after he was arrested for the murder of his wife Fatima, who was found dead in their rental apartment in Nirvana, Polokwane, on April 10.

During the application, investigating officer Constable David Nkuna testified how Fatima was suffocated, strangled, assaulted and then shot in the head, apparently with a 9mm pistol.

At first it was thought armed robbers had killed Fatima, but her husband was arrested four days later.

On Monday the court heard he had changed his clothes three times that day, and had bathed at his uncle's house.

The application was postponed to May 7 and he will remain in custody.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  port elizabeth  |  pretoria  |  crime

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