Breakfast's statement was by the book - cop

2016-10-27 21:05
Christopher Panayiotou alongside his co-accused in court. (Derrick Spies/News24)

Christopher Panayiotou alongside his co-accused in court. (Derrick Spies/News24)

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Cape Town – A statement taken from Babalwa Breakfast during Jayde Panayiotou's murder investigation was done by the book, a police officer told the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

Constable Yandisa Kumla was based at Kabega Park police station when Jayde was killed in April last year.

Kumla, who was not on the State's witness list, was called to the stand after Breakfast earlier testified about irregularities during statement-taking.

Breakfast was the girlfriend of Luthando Siyoni, who worked as a bouncer at Panayiotou's Infinity Cocktail Bar in Algoa Park.

He has turned State witness and is thought to have been the middleman in what the State believes was an organised hit on Jayde.

Kumla told prosecutor Marius Stander that he was not part of the murder investigation.

"[Officer] Koen asked me to take the statement because she was comfortable speaking isiXhosa," said Kumla.

All the information he wrote down came from Breakfast.

Initialled changes

"The reason I ask is that Breakfast pretty much denies the greatest part of this statement. She says what is contained in that statement to a large degree was not said by her to you," said Stander.

The officer said that was not true. When he was done, he gave the document to her to read.

"And was she happy?" the prosecutor asked. The officer said she was and had not indicated she wanted to change anything.

The affidavit contained a number of scratched out lines, with both of their initials. Kumla said these were mistakes that he had to change. Both of their signatures were at the bottom.

When told that Breakfast claimed she was told to sign and not read the document, Kumla replied that that was not true.

He administered an oath.

During cross-examination Panayiotou's lawyer Terry Price said it was difficult to believe that Kumla knew nothing about the case at the time.

He focused on differences between the statement to Kumla and a statement to another police officer.

Translation

Kumla said Koen informed him that Breakfast had already made a statement. He did not know who took the first statement and it was not shown to him.

"He said I must obtain an additional statement from this lady as there is additional information she wanted to give." He had no idea what that information was.

Kumla said what was reflected in his statement was exactly what Breakfast had said. He listened to her answers in isiXhosa and wrote down her words in English.

"And nowhere did you put on the statement that you had translated it?" he asked. Kumla said he did not do this because he gave her the opportunity to read the statement.

Price asked him to show the court how she read it. He held the paper in his hands, saying she read it while seated.

Price said Breakfast had testified she could not read unless she held the paper close to her face.

Awake at least 18 hours

"No she did not take it to her eyes my Lord," the witness replied.

Price said Breakfast must have been awake at least 18 hours after giving both statements. He wondered whether she was sleepy. Kumla said he did not know and didn't ask her.

In her first statement, she mentioned a double cab bakkie, but to Kumla, she said she heard a car outside.

"I put it to you that the investigators put that information in because Chris [Panayiotou] doesn't have a bakkie that fits that description."

Stander said the witness could not answer to that.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    jayde panayiotou  |  christopher panayiotou  |  crime

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