I loved my wife - Panayiotou

2016-10-11 12:55
Jayde Panayiotou. (Facebook)

Jayde Panayiotou. (Facebook)

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


WATCH: Panayiotou and co-accused enter the dock

2016-10-11 11:00

Christopher Panayiotou, accused of orchestrating his wife's murder on 21 April 2015, arrived at the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday for day one of his trial, with co-accused Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko. Watch. WATCH

Port Elizabeth – Murder accused Christopher Panayiotou on Tuesday said he had loved his wife Jayde, had been falsely implicated in her death, and believed the State had "trashed" his right to a fair trial.

Panayiotou maintained that he had never before met his co-accused and did not know them, his lawyer Terry Price read from his plea explanation in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday.

He pleaded not guilty to conspiring to rob, kidnap, and kill Jayde, 29, a school teacher, in April last year.

He loved her and they had bought a house together worth R2.2m. He denied the State’s claim that he had paid State witness Luthando Siyoni R80 000 to hire a hitman.

His co-accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, tendered pleas of not guilty.

Panayiotou also pleaded not guilty to a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

A fourth accused, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, believed to be the hitman hired by Siyoni, died in a Port Elizabeth hospital in September. Siyoni worked for Panayiotou.

Evidence tainted

Panayiotou claimed Siyoni was assaulted to obtain evidence. All evidence against him was, therefore, tainted and inadmissible. 

The State found R31 000 with Siyoni’s girlfriend Babalwa Breakfast. Their DNA was found on the money. Panayiotou said there was no evidence that he handled the money.

He said the State had "trashed" his right to a fair trial and it had no evidence linking him to the case at the time of his arrest. He had been denied the right to an attorney, he said.

Price said police never informed Siyoni or his girlfriend of their rights. Panayiotou alleged that police had assaulted Siyoni and taken him to Fort Beaufort police station to isolate him and take him away from his support structures.

Panayiotou claimed the investigating officer, Kanna Swanepoel, had forced Siyoni to frame him.

When that didn’t work, Panayiotou claimed Swanepoel threatened Siyoni to get him [Panayiotou] to confess to Jayde’s murder, or face 25 years in jail.

"Trashed the Constitution"

He said Siyoni gave two different versions of events to police. The second version was more detailed.

Panayiotou alleged the State provided this information to Siyoni.

"All evidence submitted based on Siyoni’s testimony should be ruled inadmissible."

He claimed police had assaulted Vumazonke and that this was never denied.

Panayiotou ended off his plea with hard-hitting words that the State had "trashed the Constitution" and brought the criminal justice system into disrepute.

No other plea explanations were read into the record.

The trial continues.


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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
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.