'IT technician helped Panayiotou to wipe phone data'

2015-09-12 12:25
Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou in court to hear his bail judgment. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou in court to hear his bail judgment. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Panayiotou likely to go to Supreme Court for new bail bid

2015-07-28 13:01

Defence for Christopher Panayiotou, who stands accused for the murder of his wife Jayde, will likely approach the Supreme Court of Appeal after another of Panayiotou's bail applications was denied on Tuesday.WATCH

Port Elizabeth - A local IT technician and close friend of Christopher Panayiotou is believed to be the person responsible for wiping both Panayiotou’s and his mistress Chanelle Coutts’ phone shortly after the murder of his wife, but he denies any wrongdoing.

According to a report in the Weekend Post this morning, it was revealed that local Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) IT technician, Donovan Vosloo, aged 30, had upgraded both phones, effectively wiping both handsets of any data, just days after Jayde Panayiotou’s body had been discovered.

The police’s cyber crime unit was subsequently unable to retrieve any cellphone data and experts from abroad were eventually jetted in to assist. It is unclear at this stage if they were able to retrieve anything useful to the prosecution’s case.

During Panayiotou’s failed bail application in May he admitted that both phones had been wiped, saying in a statement that this was done to conceal his affair with Coutts.

The fact that the phones had been tampered with played a role in him being denied bail. Magistrate Abigail Beeton cited this as one of her reasons, saying he had an inclination to conceal or destroy evidence.

Vosloo, who also attended Panayiotou’s bail appeal in Grahamstown, has since been added to the state’s expanded witness list.

Speaking to the Weekend Post through his lawyer Paul Bester yesterday, Vosloo said he had simply done a friend a favour.

Panayiotou allegedly contacted Vosloo weeks prior to Jayde’s murder, claiming he and Coutts were experiencing e-mail and software problems with their phones.

It was decided to do a software upgrade on both handsets. The process was carried out on April 27, just two days prior to Panayiotou’s arrest and six days after Jayde’s murder.

"I am advised that a factory reset was done on the phone and updated software, known as firmware reload, was downloaded from the Samsung website," Bester told the Weekend Post.

"My client did not try to delete information that may be pertinent to the possible conviction of Mr Panayiotou."

Bester said his client had given a statement to the state and it was likely he would be called as a witness.

Panayiotou’s lawyer, Alwyn Griebenow, declined to comment.

Panayiotou is accused of orchestrating 29-year-old Jayde’s murder in April. He is accused of paying his employee Luthando Siyoli, aged 31, to act as a middle man and source a gunman, identified as Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, 30, to carry out the hit. Siyoli has since turned state witness and the charges against him have been withdrawn.

Panayiotou and Vumazonke are due back in court on September 28.

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

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.