Jayde's husband 'plotted killing for months'

2015-05-26 09:08
Jayde and Christopher Panayiotou (Facebook)

Jayde and Christopher Panayiotou (Facebook)

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Port Elizabeth – Much loved school teacher Jayde Panayiotou spent the last eight months of her life living with a man who allegedly was plotting to have her killed.

On Wednesday last week the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court heard how Christopher Panayiotou had approached an employee, who worked for him as a bouncer at his Infinity Club in Algoa Park, as early as September last year to hire a hitman.

Panayiotou‚ 28‚ faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder‚ kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice. Thando Siyoli‚ 31‚ and Sizwezakhe Vumazonke‚ 30‚ are Panayiotou’s co-accused.

The three are accused of murdering the 29-year-old Riebeek College teacher Jayde Panayiotou on April 21.

Panayiotou is currently applying for bail.

Entering evidence as to why Panayiotou should be denied bail, the State told the court that Panayiotou had approached Siyoli in September last year to try and find a hitman for him, but at the time it had not been disclosed who the intended target was.

In his affidavit read into record, investigating officer Lieutenant Rhynhardt "Kanna" Swanepoel said at least three men had been approached by Siyoli to conduct the hit. He said that it was while Siyoli was looking for someone to do the deed, it became known that the intended target was Jayde.

Swanepoel said that in February this year Siyoli had approached Vumazonke to act as the hitman and he had agreed to the job. It was agreed that Panayiotou would pay R70 000 which would be split with Vumazonke receiving R40 000 and Siyoli R30 000.

Vumazonke however disappeared and only resurfaced in April.

When he returned, a plan was put in place whereby Jayde would be brought to Panayiotou's Infinity Club in Algoa Park for a Sunday lunch by Panayiotou. Both Siyoli and Vumazonke would be there and she would be pointed out to them so that Vumazonke could follow her and kill her.

This plan however never materialised as Jayde had not wanted to go to the club.

Panayiotou then suggested that Vumazonke follow her while she travelled in the lift club with her friend, Cherise Swanepoel, and then kill Jayde. Vumazonke had hired a vehicle to follow them, which had a tracking device in it.

The State indicated that Panayiotou had then given Siyoli Swanepoel’s (the lift club friend) address to pass on to Vumazonke.

Cellphone tracking and the GPS of the rented vehicle hired by Vumazonke show that he had visited Swanepoel’s home at least twice, said the detective in his affidavit.

The day Jayde was supposed to be killed, however, it had rained, and the hit was called off. It was then decided that she be killed outside the gate of the complex and the hit be made to look like a robbery.

Swanepoel said that GPS of the hired vehicle, as well as cellphone tracking, showed that Vumazonke had visited the site at the townhouse complex in Kabega Park on numerous occasions to scout it out prior to Jayde’s murder.

The case resumes on May 26.

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

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