AS IT HAPPENED: Alleged middleman claims confession was beaten out of him

2016-11-14 16:00

Luthando Siyoni details how he was allegedly beaten to confess to the satisfaction of police in the case of Jayde Panayiotou's murder. He alleges he was beaten so badly that he didn’t know where he was bleeding from.

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Last Updated at 09:19
14 Nov 16:06

Chetty: Court is adjourned.

Court resumes tomorrow at 09:30.


14 Nov 16:05

MS: So he just completed the form and said sign?

LS: I only came to know that this was the form that it is my rights that should be read out to a person, when I was at Humewood Police Station, when someone was arrested and had his read out to them.

MS: Perhaps now is the appropriate time to adjourn for the day?

Chetty: The witness is warned to be here at 09:00 tomorrow morning.


14 Nov 16:03

LS: He said we are done here.

LS: If my memory serves, from there we went to Kabega.

LS: Arriving at Kabega, I was made to stand on the other side of the counter, and Mayi was busy writing the rules relating to the arrest.

LS: He said I must sign.

LS: I signed, and then I was told to wait for a little while.

LS: The time I was standing and waiting, there was a detective who was showing me photographs.

MS: I want to stop you there, you running ahead of me here.

MS: I want to refer you to exhibit AX, if we scroll down.

MS: When you made mention of the rights form being completed by Mayi, is this the form?

LS: Yes.

MS: And that's your signature?

LS: Yes, I signed it.

MS: The rights in the document, did he explain them to you?

LS: No he never explained them to me.


14 Nov 16:00

LS: They had an informer and there is nothing which is unknown to them regarding this incident.

LS: Thereafter they left me.

LS: I asked for water and asked one of them to lift me up to sit on the chair.

LS: My pants also fell down. One of them raised my pants and the other one came back with water.

LS: Then the others left and only one was left.

MS: Which one was that?

LS: It was the tall black guy.

LS: After some time I was called to another office. When I arrived in that office, Mayi was on the phone, he was speaking to an unknown person.


14 Nov 15:59

LS: Then I said okay okay I know what I am going to say, and I told them.

LS: Then I repeated what they were saying.

MS: So you were given a version by the police and then repeated it?

LS: Yes.

MS: And then?

LS: So they let me go, then they said if I cooperated initially, then this would not have happened.


14 Nov 15:57

MS: So you don't know how the force was applied to your face?

LS: No.

MS: Can you tell the court where the force was applied?

LS: What I know, I was hit on the front of my face, the time the tube was moved off to wipe off the blood.

MS: Where were you bleeding?

MS: You told us you were bleeding.

LS: Mayi was the one who was always wiping the blood off my face.

LS: At that time I couldn't tell what area of my face was bleeding.

MS: Could you ascertain at a later stage?

LS: I won't be able to tell, I don't know if it was coming from my nostrils, mouth or even my ears.

LS: At the time I was assaulted I did not even know where I was.


14 Nov 15:54

LS: Then the tube was put on my face. They pulled the tube over my face again, and he tore my pants.

LS: He said an idiot cannot give us this trouble.

LS: We are used to 27s and 28s, this is an idiot, he is going to give us what we want.

LS: There was one jumping on my back and another assaulted my face.

MS: Explain the assault on your face.

LS: One of them, I can't remember because of the spray, but they hit me on my face a number of times.

LS: I don't know if it was a fist or an object I can't even say that I was not kicked in the face.


14 Nov 15:52

LS: When he realised I was able to endure the tube, they sprayed it with a spray gun.

MS: I am going to get to the spray gun now, but up until now did you give the police your version of what happened?

LS: I told them, but they said that was not enough.

MS: So you told them your version, but they said it was not enough?

MS: You may proceed.

LS: So the spray gun was put on me and on the tube.


14 Nov 15:50

LS: I know him from when I signed my rights in Kabega.

LS: The one who had the tube moved away.

LS: Then the one named Spata? he climbed on top of me, he banged my head by means of the tube.

LS: They were not asking questions. They were saying just say what we are telling you to say.

LS: We do have an informer who has told us everything. That you had approached Sizwe to kill Chris's wife.

LS: When I said I did not.

LS: They said all the time you are going to tell us, even if you don't tell us here, we will dump you in a dam, you will speak there.


14 Nov 15:48

LS: Then a fourth and a fifth person came in.

MS: Did you recognise any of these five?

LS: I know all five of them.

LS I can point them out. Yesterday one of them was sitting here in the court room.

MS: You mean on Friday?

LS: Yes Friday.

MS: Do you know them?

LS: I dont know their names, I only know Mayi.


14 Nov 15:48

LS: Then a fourth and a fifth person came in.

MS: Did you recognise any of these five?

LS: I know all five of them.

LS I can point them out. Yesterday one of them was sitting here in the court room.

MS: You mean on Friday?

LS: Yes Friday.

MS: Do you know them?

LS: I dont know their names, I only know Mayi.


14 Nov 15:46

LS: As I was lying down, I was on my stomach, so one took a tube, that is a tube of a car, and sat on top of me and pulled me with this tube.

LS: The time I was pulled by the tube, the other one was jumping on my feet.

LS: The time while I was pulled by the tube, I was unable to breathe.

LS: After some time he would leave me so that I would hit my head on the floor. I just had short breathing spaces in between.

LS: Then they would say talk, and then placed the tube over me again.

LS: After this, the third one came in, and he said he was going to talk.


14 Nov 15:44

MS: And was it then that they said you are fooling us?

LS: Yes.

MS: You may proceed.

LS: So the one grabbed me by the waist belt from where I was sitting and dragged me to the desk, and I was taken by the handcuffs and the waist-belt.

LS: They took off the handcuffs, and that was when they took out their guns.

LS: Then they tied me up with something that appeared to be rope, with my hands behind my back.

LS: The time I was tied up was against my will.

LS: They were also applying some violence when they tied me up.

LS: The other pushed me down, after he pushed me to the floor, there is nothing you will be saying now, unless you will be telling us what we are telling you to tell us.


14 Nov 15:41

LS: When I told them what I know, they said I was not telling the truth.

LS: I spoke to them, but only after they tortured me.

MS: Did you give them an explanation?

LS: They said that it was not enough, they had an informer.

MS: Did you give them an explanation?

MS: Maybe I must change the question. Earlier today you told us you had certain information and the paying of the R80 000 had to do with that information.

MS: What I want to know, is that did you tell the police that at that stage?

LS: Yes I told them that.

                


14 Nov 15:39

LS: He was a tall black man, but he did not appear to be Xhosa.

LS: I don't know if he was Zulu or iBaca.

LS: They came in one by one, comments to the effect that this person must not waste our time, we are in a hurry.

LS: They said to me, they know that I was involved in organising the murder of Chris' wife.

LS: I told them I don't know anything about that.

LS: One of them said I am going to know.

LS: One pulled me by the waist belt.

LS: Others pulled out their gun and cartridges.

LS: They said I was wasting their time, but I was asked not a single question.

LS: They were constantly telling me that Chris had enlisted me to find someone to kill Chris's wife.


14 Nov 15:36

MS: You got out the car, you were handcuffed?

LS: The car was driven to Babalwa's house, and from there the vehicle proceeded to Uitenhage and I was offloaded from the vehicle and handcuffs were placed on me.

LS: One of them made a comment.

LS The comment to the fact you are a shit and are now in a difficult position.

LS: We went upstairs, I'm not sure if it was the second or third floor.

LS: After we entered the office, I was left in the care of one person.

MS: Do you know this person?

LS: I don't know his name, but I can give a description.


14 Nov 15:33

ZN: I have spoken to my client my Lord and he is emotional, is it possible to adjourn and continue tomorrow.

Chetty: Can you continue to give evidence today?

LS: I can try.

MS: Okay, let us proceed.


14 Nov 15:29
Court is adjourned.

14 Nov 15:29

LS: At this point I was handcuffed.

Siyoni puts his head down, he is emotional.

MS asks if he would like a short adjournment.


14 Nov 15:28

LS: One suggested they must first drop off Toto.

LS: The other vehicle had already left.

LS: The route they took was to Uitenhage.

LS: When I asked, did you not say that we are going to Mount Road, no-one talked to me. One of them was playing with his phone.

LS: When we arrived in Uitenhage, whereas I thought we were going to Mount Road, I thought something is wrong and I felt a little bit scared.

LS: As I did not know if these were police officers I was travelling with.


14 Nov 15:27

LS: There was a bakkie parked next to the door in front of Infinity and another car behind it.

LS: When I saw the second vehicle, I saw my girlfriend.

LS: I went to her to inquire what had happened.

LS: But they said to me I must climb into the vehicle next to her vehicle.

LS: When I got into that vehicle, I found her brother in the car, his name is Toto.

LS: Then another person got into the vehicle, and asked where they should go to.


14 Nov 15:26

LS: Then I inquired where we are going.

LS: They said we going to Mount Road.

LS: I left with them.

LS: When I went outside, I saw two additional people were in their company.

LS: So all in all there were five.


14 Nov 15:24

MS: You told us you were at Infinity, police arrived, they came with Phumlani [the barman], what happened from there?

LS: Police arrived in his company, but I was not aware they were police at that stage.

LS: When they arrived Phumlani pointed to me and said that is Siyoni.

LS: I met them half way.

LS: They said they were coming for me.

LS: When I asked them why, they said they would discuss it later.

LS: Then I asked why would I go with them if I don't know them.

LS: They then showed me their badges.


14 Nov 15:22

MS: And then later in the afternoon, there is another reply from Sizwe?

LS: I have been phoning you for a long time man, you are not answering.

MS: And the last posting.

LS: I don't understand it.

MS; And is that your recollection?

LS: As I said, if it was written by me, then it should be as such.

MS: I want to take you now to your arrest.


14 Nov 15:21

MS: So put me in the picture, what were you saying to him?

LS: What I am saying, if I wrote it, I was referring to girlfriends that would be available at the club that could not go home. Sizwe had transport, then I would call him, unless he was sleeping with his girlfriend, because then it would be a loss to him.

MS: Where were you when you sent this message?

LS: I can't recall.

MS: So does the message refer to a woman who doesn't have a lift, the way I look at it here, it seems I was doing something like that, but I don't recall writing this message.

MS: And the reply?

LS: I am in the location bhuti. I am going to move from there now and going to Port Elizabeth.


14 Nov 15:19

MS: Can you explain this message to us, I don't understand the slang.

LS: That slang, literally means throw away. If I am at the club and someone has too much liquor and does not have a lift here, I would call Sizwe and say someone is here... like a lady.

MS: But this was at seven minutes past 9 in the morning.

LS: I don't know if I sent it over the weekend.

MS: I can help you this is 09:00 on a Sunday morning.

LS: It is possible we closed late.


14 Nov 15:17

MS: And you say?

LS: Ok.

MS: And if we go down a bit more, the 5th of April?

MS: 5 April, seven minutes past 9 in the morning.

LS pours water into glass.

LS: Sorry.

MS: The one that starts with Sizwe.

LS: Sizwe, I am bringing him closer, but what I want to know will you be ready when I say he is here and he has thrown away... [slang]


14 Nov 15:15

MS: Okay, if we go up, the 496 number... would that be your third number?

LS: I was using Vodacom, I can't say this is my number exactly, but I am using Vodacom.

MS: But I can assume you wouldn't have sent someone else's number?

LS: If this Facebook account belongs to me, then I wouldn't have sent a different number.

MS: And the next message?

LS: Sizwe says I am going to call you now now.


14 Nov 15:14

MS: So you had two phones?

LS: I had three.

MS: So those two numbers were two of the three numbers.

LS: Yes.

LS: The number I am sure of is the 078.

MS: Lets ask it differently, you sent Sizwe two numbers. The one you have indicated definitely belonged to you?

LS: That is what I am saying. I don't know why I sent him the other number, but if this number is reflected, then it means I did send him that no as well.


14 Nov 15:12

MS: Lets do this thing? R40 000?

Translator confirms. Yes. Lets do this thing. R40 000.

MS: What was the R40 000.

LS: This message of R40 000 was to inform him that he must bring the weights as I had the R40 000 in my possession.

MS: So must I now accept that you had R40 000 with you.

LS: I cant say I had it with me, but I had saved R40 000.

MS: And those two numbers?

LS: I think it was when I had an extra phone, but I was still using the 078.


14 Nov 15:10

MS: I want to go to the next message, on April 1.

MS: You will remember that when we looked on the phone, for April 1, we saw you were looking for Sizwe on your phone, now we see you in Messenger.

MS: Can you recall?

LS: I want the interpreter to explain.

MS: Ok, read the message for us.

LS: Sizwe please. my friend. Lets do this way. R40 000 and then these are my two numbers. Use these numbers


14 Nov 15:08

MS: Why are you saying it has been very long now, can you give us background?

LS: I think my memory serves me well, I am not sure, it was the time that I wanted weights from him, after he told me he had weights.

MS: And the number?

LS: I think that is the time I was using a Vodacom number.

MS: And what was Sizwe's reply?

LS: Moja Tiggas, its slang - Fine Tiggas.


14 Nov 15:06

MS: And if we read the next message?

LS: Sizwe, let us please meet my friend.

MS: And the date of that post is the 22nd of March.

MS: And the reply?

LS: I am in Uitenhage, I want to come back tomorrow to PE.

MS: Your reply.

LS: When you are available? Phone me.

MS: Do you recall this?

LS: I don't recall it, but it is here, so it must be.

MS: And then Sizwe's reply.

LS: Please send your number again.

MS: So he asked you for your number again?

LS: I sent him the number again and said please, it has been very long now.


14 Nov 15:03

MS: And you and Sizwe, did you chat on Facebook Messenger?

LS: Yes he was my friend.

MS: If we look at the top of the page...

MS: Is it correct that it is your cell number that you are giving in that post?

LS: That is correct.

MS: And if we look at the next one, can you assist us?

MS: What does it read?

LS: sure buthi, mine is 086....

MS: So Sizwe is giving you his telephone number?

LS: It appears so.


14 Nov 15:01

MS: And here is the 22nd of February 2015.

MS: Haven't seen you, the staff is missing you, counting the money waiting for Babalwa. Hope you and your wife are well.

MS: Do you remember that message?

LS: I cant say that I did not write that message. Sometimes I would inform him what is happening in the club and if there was no business.


14 Nov 15:00

MS: If we go down a little.

MS: We see here, Luthando Siyoni, I want something to protect me, a contract, even if it is just a five year contract to renovate the place.

LS: I recall asking something like this from Chris, because I wanted to renovate a place that did not belong to me, but I didn't want to lose money, or the person who owned the place to turn against me.

MS: And later, you say you are going to buy the weights tomorrow sir.

LS I don't recall.

MS: If I read through it, there is normal conversations, things like call me.... not everything pertains to the gym?

LS: We are talking on Facebook on the gym.

                    


14 Nov 14:57

MS: I just want to ask you to explain to me, when a conversation like this takes place, can other people also read those conversations, or is it only you and the other person?

LS: It seems that one is able, because I recall being exposed in Twitter after I had a conversation with someone on Facebook and it was in inbox.

LS: I think if someone is able to expose you on Twitter.

MS: I see a message there from accused one, hows the gym?

MS: Can you recall that conversation?

LS: I don't recall.

MS: Maybe I must ask differently, did he have an interest in your gym?

LS: Yes he had interest.

MS: And what was his interest?

LS: It was to develop it.

MS: Develop it?

LS: Yes to assist me to develop it.


14 Nov 14:54

LS: I can't see what I wrote.

MS: We will get to that.

MS: Do you know about Facebook Messenger?

LS: Yes I know inbox.

MS: Do you recognise these conversations on the screen?

LS: I recall speaking to Chris on Facebook?

MS: And what we see here, is that a Facebook conversation?

LS: It appears like it.


14 Nov 14:53

MS: Okay, I want you to check, is the number being entered onto Facebook in this video your number?

LS: Yes it is my number.

MS: Okay, I want the video to carry on, where your password is typed in.

Video shows  logging into Facebook.

Video shows various Facebook posts.

MS: Do you recognise this?

LS: Yes.


14 Nov 14:51

MS: I now want to show you another clip.

Video called up on screen.

MS: The next video clip we marked as BC.

Chetty: The first one?

MS: BE my lord.

Interpreter: The witness has asked if he may sit down.

Chetty: Yes.

MS: Will the witness be able to follow on the screen in front of him?

LS: Yes.


14 Nov 14:49

MS: If I understand your evidence correctly, up until this point in time there was no discussion of the R80 000?

LS: No nothing.

MS: This only came later?

LS: Yes.

MS: Do you know how long after?

LS: I am not sure exactly.


14 Nov 14:48

MS: Do you know how Sizwe came to your house in the early hours of April 22?

LS: Before I phoned Sizwe to tell him to fetch his money as I have it.

LS: He said he wouldn't be able to come as it was during night.

LS: I was also surprised to see him that he came in the early hours of the morning.

MS: It was a surprise visit?

LS: Yes it was.


14 Nov 14:47

???MS: Who was in the vehicle with you and Sizwe?

LS: It was myself and Sizwe.

MS: No one else?

LS: No one else.

MS: Was the car switched off when you got there, or did you leave it idling?

LS: I wont be able to answer, I don't know if he switched off or [left it] idling.


14 Nov 14:46

MS: Where did Sizwe find you. If I look at the time, its 02.21am when you enter the KFC, where did he find you?

LS: He found me at my house.

MS: And how did you get from your house to KFC?

LS: I left with Sizwe from my house to Babalwa's house and then from there to KFC.

MS: How, with a train?

LS: It was a white car. It was Sizwe's.                    


14 Nov 14:44

MS: Now on Friday you told us about 2 visits to KFC.

LS: Yes.

MS: This footage, which visit does this pertain?

LS: That was after I paid Sizwe his money.

MS: The R10 000?

LS: Yes.?


14 Nov 14:43

 MS: I have a video clip I want to show the clip.

MS: it is at 02.21am on the 22nd of April 2015.

Video plays... Shows Luthando Siyoni and Sizwe Vumazonke.

The two men walk into a room, it is not clear where it is.

MS: Maybe I can ask you so long, do you recognise the footage?

LS: Yes I see it.

MS: Where was that?

LS: Its at KFC.

                     

14 Nov 14:41

MS: And he gave you the money?

LS: Yes. Sizwe had already used money for a car.

LS: So I never gave him the money.

MS: So you just kept the R3k?

LS: Yes, I also needed it.

MS: So you weren't involved in any way with the rental of a car?

LS: No

LS drinks from his water bottle.


14 Nov 14:40

MS: Can you explain what happened from there.

LS: I didn't find him. Later I think I went to work that evening.

LS: Then I told him personally.

MS: What did you tell him?

LS: That I was borrowing some money from my own money.

LS: then he gave me.

MS: How much?

LS: That time he gave me R3 000.

MS: What did you tell him the R3 000 was for, if you did give him an explanation?

LS: I told him I wanted to help my friend.


14 Nov 14:38

MS: I am still not 100% clear. Before we adjourned at 12:45, you explained to us that you were approached to hire a car. you phoned and got a price...

MS: Now correct me if I'm wrong, you then called accused number one, because he had your money?

LS: I never said I called him, I made contact with him. I don't know if I called him, or if I contacted him via Facebook or SMS.

MS: But it was not face to face?

LS: Yes.


14 Nov 14:37

MS: Refers back to the document on the screen,  If I understand you correct, entry number two, you have there, is the number for Sizwe?

LS: That is correct.

MS: Thando 2?

LS: I don't recall.

MS: And further down, Luthando, ending 447.

LS: I don't recall.

MS: Then page 962, entry 98, My Husband, that is your number?

LS: Yes that is my old number.

MS: If we go to entry 196.

MS: CHRIS in capitals, you are not sure who that belongs to?

MS: Now I am going to move away from the extractions.

   

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