Alleged Panayiotou middleman more co-operative under cross-examination

2016-11-18 16:10
Luthando Siyoni. (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

Luthando Siyoni. (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

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Port Elizabeth - Key witness Luthando Siyoni, allegedly tasked with finding a hitman to kill Jayde Panayiotou by her husband Christopher, has proven a much more co-operative witness while answering questions from the defence counsel.

Siyoni, who has been on the witness stand for six days, has refused to answer any questions from State prosecutor Marius Stander for the past two days. When the defence counsel for Panayiotou, Advocate Terry Price SC, began asking him questions on Friday morning, Siyoni seemed all too happy to answer every question put to him.

At the beginning of the cross-examination Price asked Siyoni if he was aware that his girlfriend, Babalwa Breakfast, battled with her eyesight. Siyoni said he was aware of that, as she often used to hold her phone close to her face to read texts. 

Price said that they had had her eyes tested and that according to the results, Breakfast was legally blind. 

Price went on to ask Siyoni about his injuries from the assault, saying Breakfast had testified that she had seen Siyoni at Kabega Park with a split lip, swollen eye and torn jeans. She also testified that he had dirty knees.

Siyoni said his knees had been dirty from when his assailants had jumped up and down on him.

Permission denied

Siyoni told Price that he was never told about his rights when he was asked to accompany them out of the Infinity night club, where he worked for Christopher Panayiotou, or when he had been arrested, or even when he was asked to make his section 204 statement.

He also denied having ever given the police permission to search his house or to recover his additional cellphones and sim cards.

Price took Siyoni back to his testimony that he had gone to his home on April 27 in the hopes that his family would see the injuries he had sustained during his alleged assault at the hands of the police. Price asked him if anyone had seen him. Siyoni said his mother, his younger brother and Breakfast's younger brother had seen him, but he had not been able to tell them what had happened, because the police were with him. 

Price asked Siyoni about what had happened in the period between when he was picked up from the Infinity club, around 20:00 on April 27 and the time he was placed in the holding cells in Fort Beaufort, in the early hours of the morning on April 28.

Price asked him if he had been able to get any sleep and Siyoni said no. He asked if he had any food or drink and Siyoni again said no. 

"You were taken from that cell at around 08:30, did you get any sleep in the four hours that you were in the cell?" asked Price.

"No, I was in pain," said Siyoni.

'No one believes me'

Price asked Siyoni if he had managed to sleep when he arrived back at the holding cells in Kabega Park, before being taken to be questioned. Siyoni again said he had not been able to sleep. 

At one stage, shortly before the morning adjournment, Siyoni interrupted Price and said he wanted to talk about the assault.

"I want to tell you more about the assault. It seems that no one believes that I was assaulted," he said.

Price assured him that the only person who would have to decide if he was assaulted or not, was Judge Dayalin Chetty and that Siyoni must not listen to the police officers or to the media.

Read more on:    jayde pana­yiotou  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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