AS IT HAPPENED: Capitec banker questioned over Panayiotou loans

2016-11-04 12:00

Day 18 of the Panayiotou trial saw police detective De Bruin taking to the stand again, followed by another of Panayiotou's business partners. A Capitec employee was also questioned about loan applications made by Christopher and Jayde Panayiotou.

The accused in the Panayiotou case
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Last Updated at 16:37
04 Nov 11:59
 - COURT IS ADJOURNED UNTIL MONDAY - 

04 Nov 11:59

MS: We call Ms Freeman, she is going to give testimony relating to a statement taken from one of the state witnesses 

(The witness, one Humphrey Leslie Du Piesanie, has since passed away) 

[MS confirms with Ms Freeman that she took the statement] 

[Freeman confirms] 

TP: No questions 

PD: No questions 

MS: I then ask that the matter stands over until Monday 

MS: As discussed in chambers 

Chetty: Court is adjourned 


04 Nov 11:55

TP: And did you know that he had qualified for a loan of R150 000 from Nedbank? 

CG: No 

TP: And as a banker, you would know that a bank would not approve a loan of that amount if it did not think he could afford it 

CG: That is correct 

TP: No further questions 

PD: No questions 


04 Nov 11:53

TP: According to Christopher, the amount was R150 000 

CG: I recall something of R80 000 

TP: No, nothing is ever mentioned of R80 000

CG: When the loan affordability is done, we looked at R80 000 before doing a full loan assessment 

TP: Do you have a note to that effect? 

CG: No 

TP: And the amount for Jayde was R150 000 

CG: Yes 

TP: Exactly, and you mentioned that an amount with Nedbank needed to be settled 

CG: That is correct, it showed up on the [system] as an unsettled amount that needed to be settled 

TP: And can you dispute that CP paid that amount to settle this amount? 

CG: No, I cannot 


04 Nov 11:48

[CG is brought back into the witness box] 

TP: Ma'am, in your statement you say there was no reason given why Capitec did not approve the loan, is that correct? 

CG: That is correct 

TP: And it was your idea that Jayde come to try and apply for a loan? 

CG: That is correct 


04 Nov 11:44
 - COURT IS BACK IN SESSION - 

04 Nov 11:43

Christopher Panayiotou chats with defence advocate Terry Price in the courtroom. 

(Derrick Spies/News24) 


04 Nov 11:42

Court was scheduled to resume at 11:15, but there seems to be a slight delay in proceedings. Defence counsel along with the State have been spotted going into the judge's chambers. 


04 Nov 11:04
 - COURT IS ADJOURNED UNTIL 11:15 - 

04 Nov 11:03

MS: Was an account opened? 

CG: Yes, it is a requirement that with all our loans, a savings account must be opened 

MS: The loan that she qualified for, how soon would that have become available? Would it have been available on the 18th? 

CG: This also included a settlement of a Nedbank loan, but after the settlement the funds would have been available 

MS: So Mrs Panayiotou was required to settle an outstanding loan with Nedbank, and then the funds would be available? 

CG: That is correct 

MS: And after the funds became available? 

CG: She transferred the money into her husband's FNB account 

TP: I am really trying to find [out what] the relevance of this evidence is, may I suggest we take the 11am adjournment? 

[court is adjourned] 


04 Nov 10:57

MS: If we move to the third page of this document, the savings account agreement 

CG: That is just a standard document to say the client agrees to the terms and agreements related to the savings account 

MS: And all of this took place on the 13th of March 2015? 

CG: That is correct 

MS: I take you to another document, that pertains to a Jayde Lynn Panayiotou 

MS: This was also completed by yourself. If I look at this documentation, it was completed on the 18th of March? 

CG: That is correct 

MS: And the information on here, would that be obtained from her? 

CG: That is correct 

MS: And what was her reason for being at the bank? 

CG: She was also there to apply for a loan of R80 000 to R100 000, as her husband did not qualify 

MS: And did she qualify? 

CG: Yes, she did 

MS: And she was granted a loan of R150 000, is that correct? 

CG: Yes, that is correct 


04 Nov 10:52

MS: Ms Goosen, can you confirm you work for Capitec Bank? 

[MS calls up document on the screen...]

MS: What is this document? 

CG: Mr Panayiotou was applying for a personal loan, he was looking to purchase a house 

MS: Can you remember the amount? 

CG: About R80 000 to R100 000 

MS: And can you remember if he secured the amount? 

CG: No, he did not qualify, but we did open an account for him 

MS: Can you say why he was declined? 

CG: In this case, it was a matter that our system said he did not meet the minimum requirements, it could have been due to the affordability calculation, or due to credit record. I did not contact the head office to determine the exact reasons. 

MS: But you informed him that he did not qualify? 

CG: That is correct 


04 Nov 10:47

(Derrick Spies/News24) 


04 Nov 10:46

MS: We call [State witness] 46, Claudia Goosen (CG) 


04 Nov 10:45

MS: A witness, Kevin McLoughlin, testified relating to a business venture and your involvement therein. Do you know him? 

SJ: Yes I do, I introduced Christopher to him 

MS: What was your involvement in this business venture, where did you fit in? My understanding was this was five gambling licences over five sites in the Eastern Cape. 

SJ: I facilitated the deal. My role was to secure the investors, Chris was to secure the gambling licences and I would have managed the operations. 

MS: Upon a perusal of the bank statements of Infinity, there were six payments of approximately R31 000 a month made to one, Steve Jefferson, would that be you? 

SJ: That is correct 

MS: And what were these payments for? Amounts to around R187 000? 

SJ: It was the agreement CP and I had 

MS: And what did you do, or [what] were you supposed to do for this payment? 

SJ: I was to secure investors. Part of it was to get McLoughlin on board. I had three other investors, and then everything fell to pieces after his arrest. 

MS: So I accept that the R30 000 a month was essentially a salary 

SJ: It was a consultation fee 

MS: No further questions 

TP: I will argue relevance at a later stage, my lord. No questions 

PD: No questions 

MS: No further questions 

Chetty: You are excused  


04 Nov 10:36

MS: Can we accept you know Accused Number 1 (Christopher Panayiotou) relatively well? 

SJ: That is correct 

MS: And your cellphone number is xxx xxx xxxx? 

SJ: That is correct 

MS: I want to show you a document that shows the calls between yourself and Christopher Panayiotou (CP) 

MS: I must apologise, the reference 'Big Steve' is the way your contact was saved 

MS: We see there are 168 calls between yourself and Accused Number 1 

MS: What was the relationship between yourself and CP? 

SJ: We were friends first and foremost, and business partners 


04 Nov 10:32

(Derrick Spies/News24) 


04 Nov 10:31

MS: We call Steven Ross Jefferson (SJ) 


04 Nov 10:30

PD: Captain, if I understand you correctly 

PD: You are saying that on the 29th of August 2015, you obtained information that those two numbers you submitted belong to Accused Number 3? 

SdB: That is correct 

PD: You yourself have no personal knowledge of his cellphone numbers? 

SdB: The number was given to me by Nenembe's father 

PD: Apart from what was given, you have no knowledge? 

SdB: That is correct 

PD: So if Accused Number 3 were to deny that those two numbers belong to him, you would not be in a position to dispute it? 

SdB: That is correct 

PD: In other words, you can't say for a fact that those numbers belonged to Accused Number 3? 

SdB: That is correct 

PD: No further questions 


04 Nov 10:25
 - COURT RESUMES - 

04 Nov 10:25

04 Nov 10:15
 - COURT IS ADJOURNED - 

04 Nov 10:15

Chetty: The application by Mr Stander is allowed as I believe it is in the interests of justice. The full reasons will be included in my final judgment. 

MS: Thank you my lord... The State calls Stephanus de Bruin (SdB). 

MS: I take you back to your testimony yesterday, you were saying the father gave you two numbers for Accused Number 3 (Nenembe) 

[SdB reads the numbers onto the record] 

MS: Do you know the case number for the case that you were busy with? 

SdB: Yes, I know it off by heart [he recites the number] 

MS: And you were not directly involved in that case? 

SdB: No, I just assisted 

MS: And did you make a statement in relation to this case? 

SdB: I did 

MS: No further questions 

TP: No questions 

PD: May I request a short adjournment, my lord, to consult? 

Chetty: Court is adjourned 


04 Nov 10:08

PD: Why should they cross-examine this witness, will they have to call the father to counter this evidence?

PD: On this basis my lord, I hold that you should not allow this evidence to be admissible, especially since the witness is available 

Chetty: Mr Stander 

MS: It is quite an interesting matter. I agree with everything that my learned friend has placed before the court, and with all the case law that has been put before this court 

MS: It is important to look at those cases, and in each of those cases the hearsay evidence was part of the process to secure a conviction 

MS: In all the case law before your lordship, the argument was [to] exclude the hearsay as that is the cornerstone of the conviction, or the case against the witness 

MS: I have been quite clear; I am not asking that the court makes a ruling on the information, whether the information is correct 

MS: We have to look at the purpose, and probative value 

MS: The purpose and probative value is not in any way the same as the case law before you 

MS: I am going to ask that this hearsay application be allowed 


04 Nov 09:58

PD: In this case, my learned friend will confirm that his entire case is based on a cellphone number that is linked to Accused Number 3 

PD: There is no other evidence that links my client to this case. There are no witnesses. 

PD: This evidence is going to play a decisive and significant role in the possible conviction 

[PD refers to more case law in front of the Supreme Court of Appeal...]

PD: A judge should hesitate long and hard 

PD: What are the compelling aspects in this case, the witness is available 

PD: I also deal with the issue of admitting hearsay evidence provisionally, and there is case law that suggests this practice should be stopped 

[PD goes through more case law] 


04 Nov 09:52

PD: My learned friend hasn't even said why he doesn't intend to call the father 

PD: Before I go through the facts, this is not a question of discretion. The authorities are clear. 

[PD goes to the act] 

PD: My lordship is dealing with a criminal matter 

PD: Is going through the process of determining the admissibility of hearsay 

PD: Procedural prejudice: Accused Number 3 will be prejudiced. Accused Number 3 and Accused Number 4 will be severely hampered during cross-examination 

PD: Touchstone, is the submission in the interests of justice. 

[PD calls up case law] 


04 Nov 09:48

PD: He wants to say that this was given and led to something else, which indirectly means he relies on the evidence being true 

PD: He has conceded that it is hearsay, so the admission is governed by the amendment act, so there is a whole list of criteria 

PD: If I take you to the definition: 'hearsay evidence' means evidence, whether oral or in writing, the probative value of which depends upon the credibility of any person other than the person giving such evidence 

PD: This may be double hearsay evidence. The father may have been given the number by someone else 

PD: He can't suggest otherwise; he will have to concede this 

PD: Further, my learned friend has said he can't say if he were to call the witness 

PD: In this case, the witness is in fact available to testify, he is alive and kicking 


04 Nov 09:44

TP: I want to hand in Mr Inggs' statement, I would like to just hand it in before we get underway 

Chetty: That is correct 

Chetty: Can we ask for clarity?

Chetty: Yesterday you said you wanted to submit the word provisionally yesterday, are you going to be calling the witness? 

MS: Perhaps I used the word provisionally incorrectly, what I am asking [is] that we accept the information 

Chetty: In terms of Section 3.1 C 

MS: I am asking the court to consider this as it shows that on this date, on the 29th of August, that this number became available to the SAPS. 

MS: I am not asking the court to attach any correctness to this particular hearsay evidence, but it is important in the sequence of events in order to show how that number was linked to Accused Number 3. 

MS: It is my submission there can be no prejudice to Accused Number 3 if I have no intention of relying on the correctness. 

Chetty: Mr Daubermann 

PD: My lord, I intend to refer you to the act and the authorities 

PD: My learned friend's application is [new], as I understand it. He concedes that the evidence being led is in fact, hearsay. 

PD: He says he wants to deduce evidence that allegedly belonged to Accused Number 3 (Nenembe) 

PD: The evidence he wants to lead is that Accused Number 3's father gave two telephone numbers that belonged to Accused Number 3.  


04 Nov 09:34
 - COURT IS IN SESSION - 

04 Nov 09:26
(Derrick Spies/News24) 

04 Nov 09:26
Court is scheduled to resume at 09:30 today, with Stephanus de Bruin back in the witness stand. 

04 Nov 09:21

Christopher Panayiotou did not look upset - witness 

Jayde Panayiotou's husband Christopher showed no emotion the day her body was found, a family friend told the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

Pieter Bekker, who had been married into the Panayiotou family but then divorced, explained that when he heard Jayde went missing on 21 April 2015, he joined the search for her.

She was a teacher at Riebeek College Girls' High School in Uitenhage. 

He told the court he first he checked with Christopher whether he and Jayde had argued and she had gone for a walk. 


04 Nov 09:21

ICYMI: 

Panayiotou Internet lounge registered in employee's name 

Jayde Panayiotou's husband Christopher also owned an Internet lounge with gambling on the side in Port Elizabeth, but it was registered in an employee's name, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Laurika Booi, who works at the Infinity nightclub co-owned by Christopher Panayiotou, told the court the I Net Lounge in Cotswold shopping centre, owned by him, was registered in her name.

She earned a salary for working there.

When asked by Panayiotou's advocate Terry Price SC why it was necessary to bring this matter up, prosecutor Marius Stander explained that it was to show that Panayiotou may have had another income stream to get the R80 000 he allegedly paid to have his wife killed. 


04 Nov 09:21

ICYMI: 

Jayde's parents helped her and Christopher with money 

Jayde Panayiotou's parents gave her R240 000 toward paying off her car and helping toward the purchase of a new house that her businessman husband Christopher was buying for them, the High Court in Port Elizabeth heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Marius Stander produced bank statements to assist with his questioning of her father Derrick Inggs over the flow of money between them and Jayde.

The first was a withdrawal of R40 000 which Inggs said had been to assist his daughter to pay off an account for her car.

The second was a payment of R100 000 from her mother Michelle and the third was another R100 000 that Derrick had given her, which he had accessed from a bond account. 


04 Nov 09:21

ICYMI: 

Christopher Panayiotou like a son, says Jayde's dad 

Jayde Panayiotou's father considered her husband Christopher a good friend and a good man, he told the High Court in Port Elizabeth during his son-in-law's murder trial on Thursday.

Derrick Inggs choked up when Prosecutor Marius Stander opened questioning gently, asking Inggs if he knew Christopher Panayiotou.

"Yes, he was a friend," said Inggs, who has had to endure gruelling testimony of his daughter's final moments, crouching in a veld, before being shot twice in the back and once in the head. 

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