As it happened: Cops grilled on day 5 of Panayiotou trial

2016-10-18 09:25

Christopher Panayiotou, accused of the murder of his wife Jayde, is back in the High Court in Port Elizabeth for day five of his trial.


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Last Updated at 17:33
18 Oct 15:11

Stander says they have lengthy testimonies and Chetty adjourns court until 09:30 on Wednesday.

18 Oct 15:10

Stander asks for adjournment and Judge Chetty asks if he has more witnesses to call.

18 Oct 15:09

No more questions for Olivier from anybody.

18 Oct 15:09

GO: The actual cartridges showed quite a lot of corrosion, rust.                       

It is not rust in the sense of what we know of iron that is brown and bubbles. It is more a discolouration with a green tint.                       

So the make of firearm, no. However, when I examined the cases, I did find the same shape of ejector mark on all three of them.                        

The shape as well as the orientation of the ejector coincided so that I could determine that they were fired from the same firearm.

18 Oct 15:07

GO: And as I said in the beginning, the last shot was as the deceased was lying and the shooter was standing on her left-hand side and shot her through the head.                        

MS: Last question: from the cartridges recovered, can you give an indication of what firearm was used and whether it was automatic or semi-automatic?                        

GO: In terms of what specific make of firearm, the answer is actually no. In my experience, there are certain marks that give an indication of what firearm was used, but in this case, due to the actual deterioration of the cartridges found at the crime scene, I can't say the age of the ammunition if it was manufactured 10 years or a year ago.

18 Oct 15:04

GO: The doctor explained the shot that hit the spine would most probably have paralysed the deceased.                        

The question was whether I would be able to categorise which shots were first, second and third.                       

Taking my observations on what was found at the crime scene as well as what the doctor indicated and explained I am of the opinion that the first shot is the shot that went in at the back and out of the chest.                       

I am of the opinion that the 2nd shot was the one that went through the spine.

18 Oct 15:03

GO: On the 22nd I just identified the wounds being entrance or exit.                        

Then when we attended the post mortem with the help of the doctor we could ascertain that one of the shots from the back exited the front.                        

One entered the back, hit the spine of the deceased, and that is the one which exited the armpit, entered the arm and exited the arm. As well as the two wounds to the head.                       

With the knowledge of the doctor on the day of the post-mortem.                         

As a ballistic expert of wounds, (I know) what is in and what is out, hard contact and distance                        

But when it comes to the bullet entering the body and the damage it does there, that is where the doctor is the expert.

18 Oct 15:00

MS: The other two wounds - Dr Fourie has already testified of the other two gunshot wounds - are you familiar with these wounds?                        

GO: Yes.  On the 22nd of April 2015 when the deceased was still at the actual crime scene I identified the following gunshot wounds:                        

An entrance wound to left-hand side of the head                        

An exit wound rear right of the head                        

2 entry wounds top part of the deceased's back                        

An exit wound on the left chest area of the deceased as well as an exit wound directly under the deceased right armpit                        

An entrance wound on the arm side of the armpit And an exit wound on the upper part of the right top arm

18 Oct 14:58

MS: If you say not close?                       

GO: Giving it a specific length would be very difficult because different ammunition and different firearms will give us different distances.     

If I must make a decision the barrel of the firearm was no closer than 600 mm.

This gives the indication that the shooter was standing.

(Demonstrates: stands points firearm) There is quite a distance if a person kneels the person gets very close. If the person knelt or bent over then the person one would expect there to be residue.

18 Oct 14:56

GO: The trajectory of the bullet going into the ground, I can associate the bullet with the perforation of the deceased's head.The trajectory places the actual shooter plus-minus at the left shoulder of the deceased.

If we look at the actual entrance wound on the deceased's head, no tattooing or stippling was found on the skin at the entrance wound. Also no soot or tearing or burning of the skin.                        

This indicates that the barrel of the firearm was not close to the deceased's head.

18 Oct 14:54

GO: If we go back, we can see the probe and the trajectory as it went into the earth. It was taken from the left-hand side of where the deceased was lying. This shows the angle of trajectory.                        

MS: Okay, you have already indicated that you attended the post mortem. Are you in a position now to give us an indication on how at least some of the shots were fired?                       

GO: Yes. I would like to start with what is, in my opinion, the final shot. That is the one that perforated the deceased's head. If we look where the deceased was lying at the crime scene and that the entrance wound was on the left-hand side of the head by the left ear.

18 Oct 14:51

MS: As depicted here                        

GO: That is correct                        

GO: When the excavation reached the bottom of the probe, we can start seeing that there is a bullet present there.                        

On Slide 161 I dislodged the earth so that we could take a photo of the bullet that was recovered.                        

MS: Slide 162 is a close up of the bullet.                        

GO: That is correct. It was then captured and by WO Bekker.

18 Oct 14:50

MS: I move to slide 156.                        

GO: While I was scrutinising this specific area, 2 things drew my attention. A piece of foliage, that is brown of colour with a white point, as well as the earth next to it that is disturbed. Seeing the foliage that was severed, it was not bent or cut, was out of the ordinary for me.                        

I used a probe of 6mm and I started probing where the earth was disturbed.                        

At a point, the probe moved into the earth without much resistance.I inserted the probe as far as it would go without forcing it.                    

I then started excavating next to it so a part of the probe is visible.         


18 Oct 14:48

MS: On the 22nd of April, were any projectiles recovered?                       

GO: No                        

MS: We now go back to the crime scene on the 23rd.                        

GO: That is correct.                        

GO: (Refers to slide on screen) We have ascertained that this is where the deceased was. I examined the area around where the head was situated.         


18 Oct 14:42

GO: If I can just clarify that all exhibits were collected by WO Bekker.                          

MS: Were there any cartridges collected?

GO: That is correct. Three ballistic exhibits were retrieved on the 22nd of April.

18 Oct 14:41

GO: Both WO Bekker and I felt that there was something that was bothering us about the crime scene. We returned to the crime scene to see if there were any additional evidence that could be retrieved.

MS: If I can interject, if you go back to photo 42, what exhibits were collected on the day?

18 Oct 14:40

MS: You told us you visited the crime scene. Were you at the post mortem.                        

GO: Yes                        

MS: Photos 154 onwards were taken after the 22nd [of April 2015].                        

GO: Yes, these photos were taken on the 23rd of April.                        

MS: Can you tell us what the reason was for this?

GO: Myself and WO Bekker have done numerous crime scenes together. On a crime scene, we compliment each other quite well. On the morning when we were preparing to attend the post mortem and we were informed that it was not going to start as early as we had expected.

18 Oct 14:38

MS: When will be able to see the deceased?                        

GO: If you look at slide 44, we can see the deceased. If you look you will see the two stones, if you look at slide 154 you can see the same stones. The deceased's body would be there. (He uses laser pointer to indicate.)

18 Oct 14:36

MS: New photo. Do you recognise that image?                        

GO: Yes                        

MS: Is it correct that the deceased had already been removed from the crime scene?                        

GO: That is correct.

18 Oct 14:35

MS: Captain, is it true that you were on the scene? Can you look at photo, is that how you found the crime scene                        

GO: I was asked by Warrant Officer Bekker to assist at the crime scene. I was led to the scene by WO Bekker and this is how we found the crime scene.

18 Oct 14:34

Stander addresses Judge Chetty

"There are a few photos that I would prefer not to show on the big screen, my lord."

18 Oct 14:33
MS: I would like to bring to your attention to a photo album                         

18 Oct 14:33

GO: On examination, I found there was no residue to indicate that the weapon was fired at a distance preventing residue.

18 Oct 14:32

GO: I examined the cartridges and found they were manufactured and designed to be fired by a centre fire firearm.

I examined the cartridges under a microscope.

I found that the firearm casings were fired in the same firearm.

I examined the cloth and determined it had a bullet hole.

18 Oct 14:30

GO: 1 sealed bag containing 3.9mm parabellum calibre fired cartridges. 1 envelope containing 9mm calibre bullet. A brown envelope containing a piece of cloth cut from the back part of a sweater. A DVD. Instruction to identify the fired cartridges and fired bullet.

18 Oct 14:25

MS: Before I deal with evidence, I want to refer you to exhibit Q.

Stander gets the document up on the screen and asks Olivier to read his statement into evidence.

18 Oct 14:22

MS: You are being admitted as an expert and that is not in dispute, but can you tell us what it is you do?

GP: I have been attached to the ballistics unit for the past 17 years. I have examined in excess of 4500 cases.                       

18 Oct 14:21

MS (for the State): You are a captain in the SAPS affiliated with the ballistics division.                        

GP: That is correct.

18 Oct 14:20

He is number 30 on the witness list.

18 Oct 14:20
The State calls Gideon Olivier

18 Oct 14:12

Court is back in session.

18 Oct 14:06
Before the lunch break, Terry Price, for Christopher Panayiotou grilled police officers about the injuries sustained by Sizwezakhe Vumazonke during his arrest. 

18 Oct 12:46

Judge Chetty adjourns court for lunch.

18 Oct 12:46

No further questions for this witness.

18 Oct 12:46

MS: Are you aware of his injury?

SM: I heard about his injury but no one was injured at the time.                        

18 Oct 12:45

MS: Where did you go?

SM: To Kabega Park Police Station.

MS: Were you involved in the movement of Vumazonke between Kabega and other stations?

SM: No we were not. We handed him over to Kabega Park.

18 Oct 12:43

SM: It was after the arrest that we realised we were outnumbered and we decided to remove Vumazonke from the scene.

It was then that one of my colleagues took him to the police vehicle and we left. He drove in front and I followed him with Vumazonkes vehicle.

18 Oct 12:42

SM: When we introduced ourselves he tried to flee. It was at that stage that one of my colleagues jumped on him to restrain him. I was on the defence to watch that no one else interfered. It was then that I heard one of my colleagues talking to him  Xhosa explaining to him his rights.

There was also a woman in the vehicle but she was not a threat.

18 Oct 12:41

SM: I was engaged in tracking down this man we came to a point where we were able to see him. When we saw him we placed him under surveillance to observe his movements. After he bought liquor at the tavern he came out of the tavern to the car.        

It was at that stage when he approached the car I was standing at the back of the vehicle. When he opened the back of the car to climb in it was at that stage we approached him.When we approached him we introduced ourselves as police officers as we were in civilian clothes.

18 Oct 12:38

MS (for the State): We have heard you were part of a team that was responsible for the arrest of Sizwezhake Vumazonke.                  

SM: That is correct.                        

MS: I want to take you to the Tavern where he was arrested. What was your role in his arrest?

18 Oct 12:36

Next witness sworn in. 

It is Siya Manakazi.

18 Oct 12:29

State calls for a short adjournment before the next witness.


18 Oct 12:29

MS: So just to clarify you handed your pocket book in.

TM: That is correct. 

MS: And when you asked for it from logistics it was them who to you the pocket book cannot be found?

TM: That is correct.

MS: No further questions.

18 Oct 12:27

Stander has more questions.

18 Oct 12:27

PD: No further questions.

18 Oct 12:26

PD: How many people were in the vehicle?

TM: There was Vumazonke as well as another male and a lady.

PD: And what happened to the lady?

TM: If memory serves she was interviewed the following day.

18 Oct 12:25

PD: Can you recall where you found the cellphones and iPad?

TM: They were not in one place. Some were on the front seat and the iPad was in the side of the door.

18 Oct 12:23

Peter Daubermann, for Nenembe and Sibeko, starts his cross examination.

18 Oct 12:23

Terry Price addresses Judge Chetty and asks that every effort be made to find the pocket book.

18 Oct 12:22

TM: I have requested logistics to provide me with the pocket book but it has been misplaced.

TP: That is very convenient.

TM: I am on my fifth pocket book since this instance.

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