As it happened: Court hears about rental car, phone and arrest in Panayiotou trial

2016-10-28 09:38

Christopher Panayiotou and his two co-accused are back in the Eastern Cape High Court, while Babalwa Breakfast has been released on bail in the Magistrate Court.

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Last Updated at 01:08
28 Oct 15:11

Chetty adjourns court until Monday 09:30.


28 Oct 15:10

TP: I am afraid this is going to be a lengthy exercise. I am not going to ask him anything about Vumazonke but I need to prepare. 

                      

28 Oct 15:10

The State has no more questions for this witness.


28 Oct 15:08

MS: The logistics around getting him to Fort Beaufort was this left to you, or was it left to someone else?

GM: Immediately after I was informed of the arrest I contacted Colonel Rowan and I spoke to Mayi


28 Oct 15:06

MS: And who took the statement?                       

GM: Captain  Ndzendeni took the statement


28 Oct 15:06

MS: Some would allege that there was a sinister motive for taking him outside of Port Elizabeth.                       

GM: There was nothing sinister in having this statement taken outside of Port Elizabeth.                        


28 Oct 15:06

GM: you cannot keep anything under wraps in the Port Elizabeth area or keep it out of the media.


28 Oct 15:03

GM: It was to keep the arrest of the accused confined to the arresting team. If I can elaborate further, if the SAPS dog unit has a flat tyre outside their office, it is immediately rushed to the media.


28 Oct 15:02

MS: What was the reasoning behind moving Siyoni to an office outside of PE?

GM: My lord, not to be disparaging, at the time there was a Jayde fever, or Jayde frenzy taking place in Port Elizabeth at that stage.


28 Oct 15:01

MS: Let me take you forward. Were you asked to get an officer to take a confession?

GM: I was not asked, I offered. And I suggested we utilise an officer from outside the Port Elizabeth area and it was my suggestion to take him to Fort Beaufort.


28 Oct 15:00

GM: To get back to the previous question. I was at home, which is in East London.    I received a call from Captain Mayi.                       

MS: Who told you an arrest has been made?                       

GM: Correct


28 Oct 14:59

GM: There were members from the sections and the dog unit that came there. And every person who came I asked if they could test their keys against his handcuffs. The first time we could get the handcuffs off him was when we got to Despatch.


28 Oct 14:58

GM: I work a lot of times with a lot of youngsters at all times of the day. These handcuffs were left in the vehicle by one of these officers. When you enter the police, you get issued with your equipment that is registered on your section 108. When I restrain a person, I normally use a very strong cable tie. When we got to Kabega Park, no one had a key to fit those handcuffs.


28 Oct 14:56

GM: When I warned him of his rights, he was handcuffed behind his back. These are not my handcuffs, they have been in my car so long that I could regard them as mine, but they don't belong to me.


28 Oct 14:56

MS: I want to take you back to the 27th of April, when Siyoni was arrested.  When did you become aware of his arrest?                       

GM: Before I go on, can I go back to the section where Vumazonke signed that his rights had been read to him.


28 Oct 14:55

MS: I want to check with you, this the the certificate of the detainee?  It is signed at 6am is that correct?

GM: That is the time that he was booked in.                       

MS: Did you have any further contact with Vumazonke?                       

GM: No


28 Oct 14:52

MS: I want to refer you to an entry that shows evidence that was booked in that Botes said he got from you.                       

GM: That is correct


28 Oct 14:52

GM: I was not at that stage aware that Despatch did not have cells and that he was booked into their books and transferred to Uitenhage.


28 Oct 14:51

GM: I decided to then detain the suspect (Vumazonke) at Despatch police station and allow the team to follow up on Zenzi.                       

He was booked him in and at his (Vumazonke) request I called his uncle to inform him.


28 Oct 14:51

GM: If he could speak to the accused on his own to establish the address of this Zenze that he had spoken of.             

After a lengthy period, Mayi came back and said he didn't know the Zenze that was being mentioned.  

Colonel Mayi then asked for more time so that he could follow up.


28 Oct 14:50

GM: I arranged to meet him. I asked him what is the closest police station and he said at Despatch. I then travelled with Vumazonke in my vehicle together with Middleton and WO Botha followed in his vehicle.                       

We stopped our vehicles in front of the police station.                       

Mayi still took some time to arrive and when he did I asked him if he would chat to the accused.


28 Oct 14:48

GM: I regard Colonel Mayi as very knowledgeable of the criminal elements in Port Elizabeth.   I called him numerous times to try and get him, but his phone kept going to voicemail.                       

MS: And where were you at that time?                       

GM: I do not have an office in Port Elizabeth, we were outside the Kabega Park police station.                       

MS: In the street?                        

GM: Yes in the street, some of the people were sitting in their cars, others were standing in the street. We stayed there till I got hold of Mayi at around 2.40am that morning.       

                


28 Oct 14:47

GM: During this sequence of events, Sizwe approached us and said he had been in a meeting.                        

MS: So he gave you a sequence of events ?                      

GM: Yes that is correct, he gave me the name of Zenze. We followed up on the information he provided.  He told us this Zenze was in Zwide. I contacted as he was then captain Mayi, and asked us if he could help us trace Zenze.


28 Oct 14:46

GM: We then went through his vehicle from top to bottom and through my car from top to bottom trying to find the phone.                       

We were calling the number to see if we could hear it, I even had people under the car to see if they could hear the phone.                       

MS: So the phone could not be found?                       

GM: No                        


28 Oct 14:44

GM: It was then that we searched the car. And I called out WO Botes as we have had problems with hijacked vehicles and we wanted to make sure this was not the case.


28 Oct 14:42

GM: He was almost implying that we had taken his phone.


28 Oct 14:41

GM: During this time Sizwe asked about his phone.


28 Oct 14:37

GM: I asked him if this was Sizwe Vumazonke, and he confirmed that this was the person that he had been referring to.


28 Oct 14:37

GM: When I got to the station, Siyoni was still sleeping in the cells.


28 Oct 14:37

GM: I had made arrangements to have members of the Tactical Response Team to be present but they were not there at the time.                       

Due to the large number of people on the scene we decided to leave.                       

We went to Kabega Park police station.


28 Oct 14:36

GM: At this point in time we were still speaking in English.                       

As a result of the shooting I did want to revisit the scene where the arrest had taken place.


28 Oct 14:35

MS: Let me get clarity, can you speak Xhosa?                       

GM: I can help myself, I worked in the Transkei and I have people who will call me and talk to me in Xhosa and I can understand, but I am not perhaps as fluent as Mr Price is.                       

TP: I accept the compliment, my lord


28 Oct 14:35

GM: Vumazonke said he was innocent, he said that Siyoni was more afraid of the gangsters than they were of him, he said I must take him to Siyoniso he can confront him.


28 Oct 14:34

GM: I informed him of the allegations against him and that he had been implicated in the case by Thando Siyoni.                       

MS: I am going to request at this stage that the aspect has been brought up by the visit by Vumazonke and Siyoni in the cells. I want to ask that this hearsay by Vumazonke is allowed here.                       

Chetty: I can't see any objection, Mr Price?                       

TP: I am not representing Vumazonke, my lord                       

Chetty: Carry on


28 Oct 14:33

GM: I then identified myself to Vumazonke. I informed him of his rights. He was handcuffed at that stage. 

MS: Hands in front or behind him?                       

GM: His hands were behind his back.


28 Oct 14:32

GM: He further said that he had fired one shot to serve as a distraction.                       

He also said that when they were leaving a bigger crowd was forming.                        


28 Oct 14:32

GM: I immediately noticed there was an injury to the right eye of Vumazonke. and sergeant Manakaza immediately appologised and said to me that as they extracted him from the vehicle, they had grabbed him by the bet and pulled him out of the vehicle and he had injured his eye against the sill, the piece of metal on the bottom of the door. 

                      

28 Oct 14:31

GM: they left me and proceeded to follow up info. They returned a short while later and asked me for the use of my vehicle.                        

They left and went back to where they had been busy following up on the information.                       

At approximately 1.15am  they arrived with the suspect  Sizwe Vumazonke.                       

There was a second vehicle, it was a silver Polo.                        

In the Polo there was a young African female and Sizwe Vumazonke was in my vehicle.


28 Oct 14:28

GM: That is correct.                        

I met up with the tracking team. They were following up information in Kwanobuhle.                        

There were four members in the tracking team that the witness referred to, as well as two other members.

Myself and Colonel Middleton remained a certain distance away from where the information was that the suspect was.


28 Oct 14:26

MS: I want to fast forward you to the early hours of the morning on the 3rd of May.                       

We have heard information, from Mr Mabija, that they travelled to Cape Town and that in the early hours of 3 May Vumazonke was arrested. After the arrest of Vumazonke, were you in any way involved in the sequence of events from there to the next day.


28 Oct 14:25

GM: We followed through and followed up information. I then returned to East London and came back the following day. We then met with the member of te DCPI and it was at that stage that we decided to create a joint task team.    

                    

28 Oct 14:24

MS: Colonel Rowan                       

GM: Yes


28 Oct 14:24

GM: Yes, I issued instructions for the formation of this task team.                         

I cannot remember the exact day, but I think it was the 25th of April.                       

I received information regarding a possible suspect in this matter.                       

I then, after coming home from work that day, I travelled from my residence in East London and picked up the informer. I had arranged with Colonel ... his nickname is Grumpy


28 Oct 14:23

MS: Now it appears that we know the deceased in this matter went missing on the 21st if April 2015, and was found on the 22 April 2015.                       

We have heard evidence that as early as 28 April 2015, a task team was assembled to investigate this matter.                       

Do you have any knowledge of this task team?


28 Oct 14:22

MS: Is it correct that you are the head of the provincial detectives?                       

GM: That is correct. The DPCI are excluded, they are not under my direct control.                        


28 Oct 14:22

28 Oct 14:21
The State calls Brigadier Gary McLaren.

28 Oct 14:21

Court is back in session.


28 Oct 14:20

Breakfast has to appear in court again on November 25.


28 Oct 13:54

Breakfast’s boyfriend Luthando Siyoni, the alleged middleman who helped Panayiotou find Vumazonke, has turned State witness.

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