Bouncer finally takes stand in Jayde murder trial

2016-11-11 12:12
Luthando Siyoni (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

Luthando Siyoni (Werner Hills, Netwerk24)

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Port Elizabeth - State witness and nightclub bouncer Luthando Siyoni took the stand in Christopher Panayiotou's murder trial on Friday, after two failed attempts by the defence to challenge the admissibility of his testimony.

Siyoni was poised to testify about a conversation he had with Panayioutou after his wife Jayde's murder.

But the lawyer for Panayiotou's co-accused - Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko - objected on Friday morning.

Siyoni worked as a bouncer at Panayiotou's Infinity Pub and Grub and is alleged to have been the middleman who arranged for Sizwezakhe Vumazonke to kill Jayde in April 2015.

Siyoni turned State witness in terms of Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act and, with the suspected triggerman dead, his testimony is expected to be the key to cracking the case.

LIVE: Panayiotou case to continue with alleged middleman to take the stand

On Thursday, Panayiotou's lawyer Terry Price SC argued unsuccessfully that his testimony would be tainted because it had been beaten out of him.

The bulky Siyoni leaned back with his arm over a bench as Nenembe and Sibeko's lawyer, Peter Daubermann, launched a second bid to have his evidence excluded, citing previous case law.

''I am going to ask you to consider the matter afresh and reverse your finding not to hold a trial within a trial,'' he said.

After hearing argument, Judge Dayalin Chetty announced: "The matter is overruled. There will be no trial within a trial.

"I ask that the witness is warned with relation to the charges he could face."

Chetty proceeded to warn Siyoni to testify honestly so that the charges of conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder and defeating or obstructing the ends of justice against him could be discharged.

"Do you understand the warning?" asked Chetty.

"Yes, it is clear," said Siyoni.

Read more on:    christopher panayiotou  |  jayde panayiotou  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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