Panayiotou lawyer objects to testimony about dead 'hitman'

2016-10-25 15:18
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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Port Elizabeth – Christopher Panayiotou’s lawyer has objected to the continued testimony about a dead man involved in his wife’s murder, the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth heard on Tuesday.

Terry Price, for Panayiotou, called on any information relating to Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, the alleged hitman who killed Jayde, to be "prohibited".

Vumazonke died in custody on September 19.

"We have had witness after witness after witness who is testifying about Vumazonke. They are leading information about a witness who is not before the court," Price complained to Judge Dayalin Chetty.

Chetty overruled Price’s request, and said it could be saved for argument at the end of the trial.

Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing, and killing Jayde on April 21 last year. They pleaded not guilty.

Cross-examination

Jayde was kidnapped from outside her Stellen Glen complex in Deacon Road, Kabega Park, on April 21 last year. She was waiting for a colleague to give her a lift to Riebeek College Girls' High School in Uitenhage, where both women worked as teachers.

She was found shot dead in a field near KwaNobuhle the next day.

Cross-examining vehicle theft unit Warrant Officer Johannes Botes on Tuesday, Price focused on police procedure when Vumazonke and State witness Luthando Siyoni were taken in.

Panayiotou allegedly used Siyoni to find the hitman. Siyoni, who worked for Panayiotou at his family’s OK Grocer and Infinity nightclub businesses, has turned State witness.

Price asked if the two men had been assaulted during their arrest, and forced to say things about the crime that were not true.

Botes was asked to explain omissions in statements, police pocket books and occurrence books, particularly relating to his testimony on Monday about the tracking record of the car Vumazonke had hired, and which he allegedly used to kidnap Jayde.

The trial continues.

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

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