AS IT HAPPENED: Money exchanged was for gym equipment - Siyoni

2016-11-11 13:00

Luthando Siyoni was questioned about his whereabouts the days prior to and during Jayde Panayiotou's disappearance. The court heard that money exchanged between Siyoni, Panayiotou and Sizwe Vamazonke was for gym equipment.

The accused in the Panayiotou case

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Last Updated at 01:38
11 Nov 12:59

LS: I asked for the bag and gave her the bag back.

LS: Then I left with Sizwe, and I asked him to take me to KFC.

LS: After I gave him the R10 000.

LS: Then I asked to go to KFC, I was short of a cool drink, so Sizwe took money and paid for the drink and the KFC.

LS: Then he took me home.

MS: I don't know if this is the opportune time for court to adjourn?

Chetty: Court is adjourned for 09:30 Monday morning.

11 Nov 12:57

LS: I called again, got hold of him and told him to come fetch his R10 000.

LS: He said it was during the night. He would come collect it the next day.

MS: Have you ever met with Sizwe during the day?

LS: I never met up with him on that day face to face.

MS: Did you then sleep with Babalwa at Babalwa's house?

LS: No I didn't sleep at Babalwas house.

LS: I realised that the KFC that I had bought, my girlfriend had eaten it all up.

Siyoni smiles, laughter from the public gallery.

MS: So you back now and Babalwa has eaten your KFC?

LS: Yes.

LS: I only came to realise she had eaten it when Chris dropped me off, fortunately I saw Sizwe arriving, so I called Babalwa.

11 Nov 12:54

MS: So what happens then at Babalwa's house?

LS: I don't know what time, if it was after midnight or before midnight. When I got home I made a phonecall to Sizwe.

MS: Where was Babalwa?

LS: She was at home.

MS: Were you both at Babalwa's house?

LS: Then I made a call to Sizwe, but he didn't pick up the phone.

11 Nov 12:53

MS: That specific day?

LS: Yes.

MS: So you short R2 000?

LS: Yes.

MS: At that stage was there money in the gym bag?

LS: Yes.

MS: So accused number one [Panayiotou] gives you money?

LS: Yes.

11 Nov 12:51

MS: So when you went to Babalwa's house, Chris gave you R2 000?

MS: You testified you were short, what were you short?

LS: I had money, which was R8 000.

LS: Then I added the R2 000 to the money that I had in my possession.

MS: I want to try and wrap this portion up before 13:00.

MS: It is my understanding that you had gone to Infinity because Sizwe was looking for R10 000.

MS: Where did you get the R8 000 that you had in your pocket?

LS: I went home, there was some money that was paid out to me by Noxi and also it was money I won from gambling.

11 Nov 12:49

LS: I was the one who called him. After I told Chris Panayiotou about my problem, that I was short of a small amount of money to pay someone whom I had bought some weights.

LS: So he took money out of his pocket.

LS: After he left me at Babalwa's home.

MS: What is the small amount you referring to?

LS: I wanted extra.

MS: What is the amount?

LS: it was R2 000.

11 Nov 12:48

MS: After receiving the call from accused number one [Panayiotou], were you ever in contact with Sizwe Vumazonke?

LS: Can you repeat the question.

MS: After you received the call from Panayiotou to say he was in Tonjeni Street, did you ever speak to Vumazonke again?

LS: Yes.

MS: Can you tell us?

11 Nov 12:46

LS: Then Chris enquired about places that have ATMS at Njoli.

LS: I went to show him, we stopped close to KFC.

LS: I showed him the ATMs.

LS: After we got there, there were two or three bakkies that arrived.

LS: There were people inside.

LS: But I didn't know who they were, but Chris knew them.

LS: So he showed them the ATM.

11 Nov 12:44

LS: I told him to go to my house, as my girlfriend was at the house.

LS: He didn't know it was my girlfriend's house.

LS: I climbed out the vehicle, I saw Babalwa's brother and told him to go fetch Babalwa.

LS: I told him to remember to tell her to bring the gym bag.

MS: Did she know what was in the gym bag?

LS: No.

MS: And then?

LS: I went to Njoli.

11 Nov 12:42

MS: Fetched the girlfriend then went home, what happened then?

LS: I received a phonecall from Chris. He was already in Tonjeni Street.

LS: He asked me where I was living.

LS: I gave him directions to go down Tonjeni, and I met him at the corner of Kulathi.

LS: He asked me to show him where Njoli is.

LS: He said the people who allegedly abducted his wife withdrew some money.

LS: I said I'll go and show him.                       

11 Nov 12:41

MS: Where did you go after?

LS: I went home.

MS: What time did you get home?

LS: We closed around 22:00, it was after 22:00.

MS: You go to your home?

LS: I went to KFC, purchased some KFC, then fetched my girlfriend then went home.

MS: Which KFC?

LS: The one in Njoli.

11 Nov 12:39

LS: Noxi made a phonecall to a friend who was with Chris that day.

LS: The friend said they were searching for Chris's wife.

LS: So I decided to stay at Infinity and not go home. I assisted Noxi, so I ended up working that day.

LS: I'm not sure if he made the call or if Noxi called him from Infinity, but Noxi spoke to Chris and she told Chris I was there.

LS: Chris told her that she must give me the phone. On the phone he told me that he was happy that I was there.

LS: I told him to stay strong, I would stay at Infinity till closing. He said thanks.

MS: Did you get the money you were looking for that day?

LS: No I didn't.

11 Nov 12:37

MS: Did you know where accused one was at that stage?

LS: He didn't tell me where he was.

MS: Did you know?

LS: No.

MS: What happens further, you waiting, he doesn't arrive?

LS: An SMS came to Noxi's phone that mentioned something about a missing person.

LS: The SMS was in the Herald and was to the fact that Chris's wife was missing.

LS: I stayed at Infinity because I was security there.

11 Nov 12:35

MS: You are now waiting at Infinity, Sizwe wanting his money desperately to the point that he is harassing you?

LS: After I sent him the sms he understood that I am waiting for Chris and he stopped calling me.

MS: Did you give him an explanation as to what the delay was?

LS: Yes I told him.

MS: What did you tell him?

LS: I told him I was at Infinity from where I was going to fetch the money, the money that belonged to me that I had saved, but there was a problem as my boss wasn't there.

LS: I said to him, he must not be in a rush, he must wait, he will get his money.

11 Nov 12:34

MS: And which number was he calling you?

LS: I'm not sure if it was the 078 or 073, the number I was using at the time of my arrest.

MS: So he called you?

LS: Yes he was harassing me the whole day?

MS: Did he send you SMS?

LS: It seems I sent him an SMS.

MS: Did you send him one or more than one?

LS: Just one that I recall.

11 Nov 12:32

MS: And then?

LS: I decided to wait for Chris at Infinity.

LS: But the problem was Sizwe.

LS: He wanted to use the money.

MS: You say you think Sizwe wanted the money desperately, why do you say that?

LS: He was calling me every hour.

MS: On what number was he calling you at that stage?

LS: From a number that he used.

11 Nov 12:30

LS: When I got there I realised the money was removed from the place where it was usually kept.

MS: Do you know where the money was usually kept?

LS: In a safe but Noxi said there is money that belonged to me, that she moved from the safe to a cupboard.

MS: So you enquired and the money wasn't there?

LS: I asked and Noxi looked where the money was kept, but it wasn't there. So I asked how do I get the money.

LS: She said that she had tried to get hold of Chris telephonically but was unable to get hold of him.

MS: I want to stop you there. At that stage, did you have no money to pay Sizwe in your possession?

LS: I had money but not the full amount.

11 Nov 12:28

LS: I told Sizwe he was going to get his money, but I must go fetch the money.

MS: Where were you going to fetch the money?

LS: At Infinity.

MS: And then?

LS: I first went to gym, then I walked to Infinity.

LS: When I got there, Chris Panayiotou was not there.

LS: And because Chris said to me that when I need the money he would leave the money in Noxi's care.

11 Nov 12:27

MS: Do you know where the owner lived?

LS: No I just went to a house with a garage.

MS: Where was this?

LS: New Brighton.

MS: So the best you can give us is that the R10 000 was given back to accused number one, the month before your arrest?

LS: Yes.

MS: What happens. It's clear Sizwe wants his R10 000, so what do you do?

11 Nov 12:26

MS: Were you and Sizwe ever in business together?

LS: He was a friend.

MS: Were you ever in business together?

LS: No I don't recall.

MS: Before I move on from the weights, do you know who they belonged to, you said Sizwe is the middleman.

LS: He said it was his friend.

MS: Do you know who the friend was?

LS: I don't know the name.

11 Nov 12:24

MS: When was this?

LS: After I saw the weights sold to me were small, and they were not worth R40 000.

MS: When, when did you take the R20 000 back?

LS:I used R10 000 for me, and the other R10 000 I took back to him.

11 Nov 12:23

MS: I want to know when you speak that day, what arrangement did you make?

LS: I said I would pay the balance.

LS: But the money was not in my possession.

MS: So when he called, you did not have the money in your possession?

LS: Yes.

MS: Where was the remaining R20 000?

LS: I took half the R20 000 back to my boss to save it again.

11 Nov 12:22

MS: And how much had you paid for the weights?

LS: I had paid R20 000, and kept R20 000.

MS: So Sizwe asked for the balance?

LS: Yes.

LS We were cheating each other. I think he had a commission to sell, I thought that when I paid the R20 000, he was not going to demand the extra R10 000.

MS: So he now wants the extra R10 000?

LS: It was not the first time for him to make a phonecall, but sometimes I would avoid him.

11 Nov 12:20

LS: Then I went to look at the weights, but I was not satisfied with the quality of the weights so I kept some of the money.

MS: Where does Sizwe fit in?

LS: Sizwe was selling weights that belonged to a friend of his to me.

MS: Right, so Sizwe was acting as a middleman, selling weights on behalf of a friend?

LS: Yes.

MS: And the balance he was looking for?

LS: It was R10 000.

11 Nov 12:19

MS: You called him back?

LS: Yes I called him back.

MS: And what was his concern?

LS: He was calling about the balance.

MS: So Vumazonke wanted money from you?

LS: That was money for weights my lord.

MS: You must help me, I am not a gym man.

MS: You must explain, that is money for weights, you must tell us.

LS: When I told my friends to look for weights, I told them to look for bargain weights.

11 Nov 12:17

LS: Sizwe.

MS: Vumazonke, your friend?

LS: Yes.

MS: Missed calls, more than one?

LS: Yes.

MS: Do you remember how many?

LS: two or three.

MS: Not more than that?

LS: I am not sure, it could be more.

11 Nov 12:16

MS: What happened before 11:00?

LS: That morning I was with my girlfriend.

LS: When I got up I saw some missed calls.

LS: Then I called back.

MS: Lets stop there, who did you receive the missed calls from?

 LS: My friend.

MS: Which friend?


11 Nov 12:15

MS: Okay, now let's go to the morning.

MS: Lying in bed, what happens next?

LS: I got up and went to Infinity.

MS: I'm trying to break it down to timeframes.

MS: What time did you go to Infinity?

LS: It was around 11:00, after I had been to the gym.

MS: Okay, I want to go back to before 11:00.

11 Nov 12:13

MS: Time?

LS: I was told late around 19:00.

MS: Late?

LS: But I did go to Infinity in the morning.

MS: I think we missing each other. What time did Phumlani call you to tell you to come work?

LS: It was late, around 7pm or 6pm.

MS: When he called you?

LS: Yes.

11 Nov 12:12

LS: She said I must come to work.

LS: I'm not sure if it was after or before the deceased went missing.

LS: I remember going to Infinity.

MS: Do you know from which number Phumlani called you?

LS: It was his personal cellhone number.

MS: Do you know what time?

LS: It was late.

11 Nov 12:10

MS: I want to take you to the 21 April 2015.

MS: To put you in the picture, that is the day Jayde went missing.

MS: Can you recall the events of that day?

LS: I received a call...

LS: I was at the gym

LS: And Phumlani was the one who called me.

11 Nov 12:09

MS: After you received the money, how much was left?

MS: With Chris?

LS: there was about R6 000, or R9 000.

MS: In that last month did you continue saving?

LS: Yes.

MS: And the R40 000 you ha d received from Chris, what did you do with it?

LS: I bought the weights and kept the other money.

11 Nov 12:08

MS: How was the money packed?

LS: I received the money in a bag.

MS: What type of bag?

LS: In a financial bag.

MS: A money bag?

LS: Yes  a money bag.

MS: And that was about a month before your arrest?

LS: That is right.

11 Nov 12:07

MS: And why did you take the money?

LS: A friend came to me with a bargain price for weights for the gym.

LS: I received such a call from a friend. I asked Chris for the money.

MS: Did you receive the money?

LS: I went to fetch it.

MS: Who gave it to you?

LS: That was Chris.

11 Nov 12:06

MS: All I want to know, was it March 2015 , was it December 2014?

MS: When did you get the money back?

LS: About a month before.

MS: Before your arrest?

LS: that is correct.

MS: And was it all of the money?

LS: No about R40 000.

11 Nov 12:05

MS: How did the money end up in accused number one's possession?

MS: Maybe I give you an example, did you only take a certain amount of your pay and he kept the rest. or did you physically take him other money?

LS: Sometimes I would leave my wages in his care, some other money I would take to him.

MS: So if you are saying it was somewhere between R46 000 and R50 000, when was that?

LS: After he became my friend.

MS: How long before your arrest was this money still with accused number one?

LS: After some time I was working at Infinity I had money before that, but I couldn't use money effectively. That is when I discussed with Chris and whether it would be safe to save the money with Chris.

11 Nov 12:03

LS: I am not sure of the amount of money.

MS: According to your memory, how much money did you leave with Panayiotou? 

LS: It is between R46 000 or it may have been R50,000 I am not sure as I was still collecting the money.

MS: So you are not sure if it was R46 000, R50 000, R52 000 or even R56 000?

LS: I am not certain.

11 Nov 12:01

MS: Now, when did you start this saving project of yours?

LS: That was a while after I started working at Infinity.

MS: And I understand you gradually saved up the money that was being kept for you.

LS: It was not R30 000.

LS: It was more than R30 000.

MS: Can you tell us how much?

LS: I wanted to buy some things. It was around R46 000, R52 000 or even R55 000.

11 Nov 12:00

MS: Now, how did it come about that R30,000 came about ending up in possession of accused number one [Panayiotou]?

LS: Accused number one was always coming to me at the gym, and was assisting me in saving money.

LS: Because he observed that I cant save money.

LS: Because I was complaining to him and asking him how he was doing with his business, because I can't buy one bag.

LS: But I'd make money at the end of the month. Because he is also a business man, I trusted him and his advice was that I work for him so that I could save the money if the money was in his care.

LS: That was the advice he gave me, that I must save the money before I use it.

LS: So that I can buy something that I can see.

11 Nov 11:58

MS: Where does the money come from?

LS: It is savings from my work, as well as money from commissions and money from friends who support me.

MS: Did you ever keep your money at OK or Infinity?

LS: Yes, at Infinity.

MS: And the amount?

LS: It was more than R30 000.

MS: And how did more than R30 000 end up at Infinity?

LS: Because I trusted my boss and he had the money in safe keeping for me because I was wasting the money.

11 Nov 11:56

MS: I am going to return to this at a later stage.

MS: Mention was made of R30 000 which was in a black gym bag of yours.

MS: Do you know of the R30 000 that was in the gym bag?

LS: I do have knowledge. The money was in my gym bag.

MS: Where does that money come from?

LS: That was my savings.

LS's leg is extended out of the box, foot kicking against the box.

11 Nov 11:55

MS: So I want to check, is it your version that you never knew where Panayiotou stayed?

LS: Yes that is correct.

MS: Were you ever informed of people who stayed opposite accused number one's residence?

LS: I would not know.

MS: And you did not know?

LS: No.

11 Nov 11:54

MS: Prior to your arrest can you tell the court what vehicle Panayiotou was driving?

LS: He was driving a Golf.

MS: Do you know what he drove prior to the Golf?

LS: He also had a bakkie.

11 Nov 11:53

MS: Were you at any stage asked by anyone to find a contract killer?

LS: No.

MS: At no stage?

LS: No.

MS: Did you at any stage for any reason approach anyone to shoot someone else?

LS: There is no-one my lord.

11 Nov 11:52

MS: Were you ever involved by yourself or with other people, in renting a vehicle?

LS: Never.

MS: Did you ever contribute to the rental of a vehicle for anyone?

LS: No.

LS asks if he can sit down.

11 Nov 11:51

MS: Was it before or after your arrest that you asked about the price of a rental vehicle?

LS: It was prior to my arrest.

MS: And how long prior you arrest?

LS: I cant recall exactly, It was about three months or four months.

LS: It was quite a long time before my arrest.

MS: Are you sure about this, are you sure it could not perhaps be three weeks before?

LS: I am not sure.

11 Nov 11:49

MS: So you saying you don't have a friend named Touch who is a neighbour at the gym?

LS: No I don't have such a friend.

MS: Did you ever enquire at a car rental place, the price of renting a vehicle?

LS: Yes.

MS: And at which company did you ask for a price?

LS: Ntando.

11 Nov 11:48

MS: Do you know when?

LS: I don't recall clearly.

MS: Do you know a person named Touch?

LS: Yes I have such friends.

MS: One of them being a neighbour at the gym?

LS: No.

11 Nov 11:47

MS: So you never physically went as far as trying to rent a car?

LS: No.

MS: Did you ever go to the trouble of finding numbers for car rental companies?

LS: I think a person once asked me for such a number and I promised I would look for such a number.

MS: Did you send such a number to someone else?

LS: It seems so.

MS: To who?

LS: I'm not sure.

11 Nov 11:45

MS: Do you know how to drive?

LS: I can't drive.

MS: Did you ever at any stage ever want to rent a vehicle?

LS: Yes I once had a wish to have a rental vehicle, but the problem is that I am unable to drive.

MS: Where did you want to get obtain this vehicle?

LS: I had a wish, nothing more.

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