This is how much Jayde's life cost, alleged murder middleman tells court

By News24 Wire
14 November 2016

A witness in the Jayde Panayiotou trial claimed that the now-deceased alleged hitman told him that Jayde's husband Christopher Panayiotou wanted her dead.

State witness Luthando Siyoni told the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth that he was driving with the late Sizwe Vumazonke to Panayiotou's nightclub Infinity after Jayde went missing on April 21 last year.

The alleged middleman claims Panayiotou gave him R80 000 that was meant for Vumazonke, after Jayde’s killing. He said he gave the alleged killer R50 000 and kept the rest.

"Now on the way he told me a story," said Siyoni, who said he and Vumazonke were involved in a deal to buy gym weights.

Read more: ‘I thought Christopher was a good man,’ Jayde’s dad testifies in tears

"That he was sent by Chris that he must kill his wife!" exclaimed the burly nightclub bouncer and gym owner.

Siyoni said Panayiotou was playing "hide and seek with him".

The two were on their way to fetch money from Panayiotou at the nightclub when the claim was allegedly made.

Siyoni is testifying in terms of section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which means he might be immune from prosecution, depending on the quality of his testimony.

'Happy Trigger'

He seemed to battle to confirm cellphone numbers and messages extracted from his phone, claiming not to remember when prosecutor Marius Stander went through his records.

There were two contacts saved as "Happy Trigger". He said he knew a person with the nickname "Happy Trigger" as an enthusiastic gym goer, but did not know why there was another with a different number on his phone.

Read more: ‘She loved him very, very much’: Friend tells how ‘lonely Jayde’ would wait up for Christopher

His phones and sim cards were retrieved from his home when he was arrested.

Jayde went missing from outside her home in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, on April 21, 2015. The school teacher was found dead the next day.

She had been shot three times.

Read more: This is how Jayde Panayiotou died

Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are facing charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbery and murder. They have pleaded not guilty.

Vumazonke died in September after falling into a coma while awaiting trial. Siyoni has denied that he had anything to do with Jayde's murder.

News24

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