State witness categorically denies boyfriend's role in Panayiotou murder

2016-10-26 20:16
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 - The conflicting testimony of Babalwa Breakfast came into sharp focus during Christopher Panayiotou's murder trial at the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier State prosecutor Marius Stander had asked for a halt in proceedings when Breakfast began giving a different version of events to that which is contained in her affidavits made in April 2015.

READ: Disappointing Breakfast for State in Panayiotou Trial

When proceedings got underway again after lunch, Stander first asked Judge Dayalin Chetty if the witness could be stood down and warned to seek out her own legal counsel.

Advocate Terry Price, for Panayiotou, objected and said the law was clear and Stander had three options available to him: That he continues to lead evidence, that he stop leading evidence or that he declares the witness hostile.

Peter Daubermann, for Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, also objected to the line Stander proposed, saying it was first necessary for him to show that the witness was leading false evidence, which he had not yet done.

Stander conceded and after a brief adjournment, resumed questioning Breakfast.

Stander called up the two statements that Breakfast had given on April 27 2015, in Uitenhage, and during the early hours of the following morning at Kabega Park Police Stations.

In her statements, Breakfast said Christopher had approached her boyfriend and self-confessed middleman Luthando Siyoni and asked him to kill his wife, Jayde.

According to her statements, Siyoni told her he could not do it but that he could organise people who could. Siyoni then allegedly tried to find people in Zwide and New Brighton who could help him but failed.

Eventually in April, Siyoni told her that he had finally found someone who would kill her. The man's name was Sizwe.

Money bag

On Wednesday afternoon, Breakfast vehemently denied saying any of that. She also denied saying Panayiotou would pay R50 000 for the hit.

"I did see the said Sizwe that promised to kill the lady for Thando and Chris. The said lady was said to be the wife of Chris but I did not know or was never told as to what the reason of killing her was," her statement further read. She denied this.

Breakfast said in her statement, that Siyoni received a call from Sizwe on the night of April 20. During the call, Sizwe allegedly told him "we have finished this and we want our money" after which he allegedly left the house.

The court then heard that Siyoni handed her a black gym bag full of money and she was asked to count out R50 000.

"I would like to state on the arrival of Chris, first before he went out with Thando, Thando came back from Chris and gave me a black bag that had money in it.

"He then requested me that while waiting for my brothers, I must please count R50 000 out of the money in the bag as it was money that he had to pay Sizwe with. I did that and there was still money left.

"I did not count it. I then placed the said R50 000 in the bag and kept the other one side. I was then told by Thando that I must take the bag with and I did that."

Breakfast flatly denied this in a very tense court room.

"I never mentioned it to the police, because I never talked about R50 000," she said.

Not guilty plea

Stander asked Breakfast whether she had read the contents of her statement after it was completed. She said she did not, and added that the police did not read the contents back to her. However, she agreed that she signed both documents, despite this.

Babalwa Breakfast Statement 1

Babalwa Breakfast Statement 2

Panayiotou, Nenembe and Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing, and killing Jayde on April 21 2015. They pleaded not guilty. The alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, died in September.

Jayde Panayiotou, 29, was abducted outside her home in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, while waiting for her lift to Riebeeck Park High School on Tuesday, April 21. She was found shot dead in a veld outside KwaNobuhle township, Uitenhage, the following day.

The matter was adjourned until Thursday.

Read more on:    jayde panayiotou  |  christopher panayiotou  |  crime

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