As it happened: Panayiotou Trial - Adjourned for defence to consult expert witness

2016-10-25 12:30

During the course of Day 10 of the ongoing Panayiotou trial, Detective Warrant Officer Jaco Botes and Nedbank employee Johannes Michael Thomas were questioned in the dock. Court has been adjourned until 09:30 on Wednesday for the defence to consult with their expert witness.


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Last Updated at 04:57
25 Oct 12:44

ICYMI: Tears from owner as tracker shows hired car heading for Jayde murder scene 

The co-owner of a car rental company in Port Elizabeth started crying when she realised one of her vehicles may have been used in the murder of Jayde Panayiotou, the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth heard on Monday. 

Detective Warrant Officer Johannes Botes was testifying about the day he asked the owner Zems Car Hire if one of the co-accused in the school teacher's murder had hired a second vehicle from them. 

Botes had already established that accused Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, who died in prison in September, had hired a vehicle after Jayde went missing and concluded that that vehicle could not have been used in her murder. 

In the course of returning that car to Zems Botes asked Mrs Skorana, who runs the business along with her husband, if Vumazonke had hired any other vehicles from her in the past. 

She said he had hired a Toyota Etios from April 9 to April 23. 

25 Oct 12:42

25 Oct 12:41

MS: It is my understanding my lord that, as discussed in chambers, the court will not be in session this afternoon as the defence wants the opportunity to consult with their expert witnesses as Mr Stoger is expected to be back on Friday 

TP: That is correct. We have sent through the typed evidence to our expert and will use this opportunity to consult.

Chetty: Mr Daubermann 

PD: I confirm, my lord 

Chetty: Court is adjourned till tomorrow at 09:30 

25 Oct 12:38

MS: (Calls up photo) Is this the ATM at Picardi? 

JT: Yes, that is correct 

MS: New photo of big daddy ATM 

MS: And there is no record that shows that any transactions were made at this ATM 

JT: That is correct 

MS: (Goes back to transactions) If we look, the third column, the time, the next is the card number and the next is the ATM 

JT: That is correct 

MS: No questions 

TP: No questions 

PD: No questions 

25 Oct 12:35

MS: And the ATM where the attempt was made to process that transaction? 

JT: That would be the Nedbank ATM Picardi 

MS: At 07:26 there was a second attempt with another card 

JT: That is correct 

MS: Again an attempt to withdraw R3 000 was made and it was declined 

JT: Yes MS: At 07:28, what happened there? 

JT: A card transaction withdrawing R1 800, was approved 

MS: And at 07:28? 

JT: A further transaction of R500, declined 

TP: On behalf of time, my lord, is there any need to go through all this? 

TP: None of this is in dispute 

Chetty: Mr Daubermann 

PD: Nothing from us 

MS: Is it okay then if I lead the witness, my lord?

Chetty: Is there any need, you can just hand it up if it is not in dispute 

MS: There are one or two additional points, my lord

Chetty: Proceed 

25 Oct 12:29

MS: I am going to show you an Exhibit AD. This is the best quality we have of this document, but we have replicated the data in an enlarged format at the bottom. 

MS: If you look, do you agree that this is a print out of the transactions on the two accounts, but in date order? 

JT: That is correct 

MS: So can I assume that at 07:25 was the first transaction, and 12:55 was the last transaction? 

JT: That is correct 

MS: I am going to ask, at 07.25.09, is the card ending 7584 shown as being used at an ATM machine? 

JT: Correct 

MS: What transaction was attempted? 

JT: A withdrawal of R3 000, which was declined 

25 Oct 12:26

MS: We now call Johannes Michael Thomas (JT), Nedbank Ltd. 270 Cape Road, PORT ELIZABETH 

MS: Is it correct that you are able to go into the transactions of clients? 

MS: Will you be able to confirm that there were transactions on Jayde's accounts on the 21st of April? 

JT: Yes. I received the information [that] was obtained from the bank's forensic team 

JT: The information showed that there were transactions on two accounts 

[MS asks JT if the transactions were on card numbers read out] 

JT: That is correct 

25 Oct 12:22

MS: I want to ask just two questions (calls up photo of Siyoni) 

TP [Objects]: We have never seen this photo before 

TP: This is again trial by ambush 

MS: We only received this photo during the break 

TP: But what is the relevance? 

MS: The evidence led is that Siyoni needed medical attention and this image is of him on the day of question 

Chetty: I am not sure of relevance 

MS: No further questions 

25 Oct 12:19

PD: You say that you thought the information would be corrected in statements 

JB: That is correct 

PD: But that is incorrect. You said you weren't even aware of the mistake in the occurrence book entry until last week

JB: I was talking about the nature of his injury 

PD: Your honour, I want to place on record that a lot of evidence was led through this witness and a lot of hearsay evidence was also led that I feel is irrelevant to this case 

PD: I want to place it on record that I will not be questioning this witness with regards to this evidence that was led, and I want to make it clear that this lack of questioning is not an admission of acceptance of the evidence led 

PD: No further questions 

25 Oct 12:16

Chetty: Haven't you made your point?

PD: But this is a new point, my lord 

Chetty: It is not. I am not having an argument with you, carry on.

25 Oct 12:14

PD: It seems you cannot make [up] your mind if you made the mistake, or the charge officer made the mistake 

JB: I did convey that the man was injured when he was removed from a vehicle. It was the charge officer who misunderstood me 

JB: I made an error in not rectifying the information as it recorded here 

JB: I did not think that this information would be brought before the court. I assumed that the matter would be rectified in statements that would be presented. 

PD: What you have just said doesn't make any sense whatsoever 

25 Oct 12:10

PD: I am going to repeat my question 

PD: Did you read the entire entry, or did you not read the entire entry? 

JB: I read the first part and scrolled through the rest. I made a mistake in signing instead of clarifying the issue. My intent of this entry was to get the suspect detained in a police cell. 

JB: The injuries can be clarified by the statements made by the arresting officer 

PD: What do you mean you scrolled through? 

JB: I went through it briefly. I did not think it necessary to rewrite it or anything. 

PD: Did you realise at the time you scrolled through it that it was not entirely correct? 

JB: Not at that stage 

PD: You agree that the entry is false insofar as how it describes how the suspect sustained his injury? 

JB: Yes, I conveyed the hearsay incorrectly 

JB: In the way in which the charge officer misunderstood me, in the way I conveyed it to him

25 Oct 12:06

PD: Why did you deem it not necessary to read the entry before you signed it off? 

JB: I read the bit where it states that I was detaining him. As I said previously, we had been working very long hours. It was just a human factor that slipped in. 

PD: So it is your version you did not read it properly, but you did read it? 

JB: Yes 

PD: You see, that is also not consistent with your previous version. In the previous version you never read the entry. 

MS [Objects]: The question has been changed and is perhaps better phrased 

PD: My lord, in the beginning of my cross examination he said he read the first part, now he is saying he read it all but misread it 

JB: I read the first part, I rushed through it, it is as a result of the long hours and human factor 

PD: You are being very evasive 

25 Oct 12:02

PD: A few minutes ago you told the charge office that you mistakenly said the suspect was injured being placed in a vehicle, when he was injured being taken out of the vehicle 

JB: No, I said there was a miscommunication. I meant to say that he was injured being taken out of the vehicle. 

PD: Are you now saying you never said that? We can play the tape back for you if you like. 

JB: It was a miscommunication 

PD: I put it to you that you have given contradictory evidence and you are now misleading the court 

JB: No 

25 Oct 11:59

PD: Are you now saying you passed the wrong information over to the charge officer? 

JB: There was a misunderstanding between me and the charge office commander, and I should have read the entry before signing 

PD: You are not answering the question. Did you tell the charge office the information was given incorrectly by you? 

JB: I said it was a miscommunication 

25 Oct 11:57

PD: I take you to Exhibit Y, the Despatch Occurrence book, 3 May 2015 

PD: Please read from 'suspect has a right swollen...' 

JB: Suspect has a right, swollen eyebrow due to when suspect was put in the vehicle. He bumped his head against the vehicle 

PD: And that was not in your handwriting. You did not write it 

JB: No, I did not 

PD: And you did not read it 

JB: No 

PD: Why not? 

JB: I was satisfied when I saw detained by Botes 

PD: Do you know who it was? 

JB: I do not know the person, I do not know the people working at Despatch 

PD: Why did you sign under the entry, what were you certifying? 

JB: I was certifying that he was being held 

25 Oct 11:54

PD: So your explanation is that what you intended to convey is that he had no new injuries, so why did you not record as much when you charged him? 

JB: This was more about charging him. To me, he was already booked in 

PD: Why did you mention injuries at all? 

JB: It is standard practice 

PD: Do you agree that this entry is in fact false, he was not free of injury? 

JB: If you look at the single entry then it appears false, but if you look at the occurrence book where he was booked in the injuries are mentioned 

25 Oct 11:50

JB: It is correct, except that I am not attached to Organised Crime. I am attached to the vehicle unit. 

PD: But you insist the rest of the entry is correct? 

JB: That is correct, except that the 'free of injuries' can be understood as no new injuries 

PD: That is the difficulty that I have with this entry 

PD: Now, what impression would anyone get when reading that entry with regards to injuries? 

JB: If a person read this on its own, he would assume he was free of any injury, but when he was booked in it was recorded that he was injured 

PD: What would it mean? 

JB: To me, it means no new injuries 

PD: But to someone else reading this entry? 

JB: That there were no injuries 

PD: So you agree that this entry can be interpreted that he had no injuries when he was charged? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 11:46

PD: And if there were any mistakes you would have notified the shift commander? 

JB: Yes, that is correct 

PD: You have since read that entry, is that correct? 

JB: Yes, that is correct 

JB: It was what was read out in court 

PD: So you are still satisfied with what it states? 

JB: Can I ask that it is shown to me? 

PD: Certainly 

25 Oct 11:44

PD: The fact that you charged him was recorded in the occurrence book 

PD: At Kabega Park 

JB: Yes 

PD: But you did not make the entry yourself. Can you explain how that happened? 

JB: I approached the shift commander and informed him that I want to charge Siyoni in the occurrence book 

JB: That means that on the following working day he will appear in the court 

PD: Who was shift commander? 

JB: I can't recall 

PD: Was the entry made in the occurrence book 

JB: Yes 

PD: And the information came from you? 

JB: Yes 

PD: And you read it? 

JB: Yes 

PD: And you are satisfied that the information was correct according to what you had told him? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 11:40

PD: So at the time you charged him, you knew of the injury? 

JB: Yes 

PD: Was his eye very swollen? 

JB: Yes, it was swollen 

PD: So the injury would have been obvious to anyone, do you agree? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 11:39

PD: Thank you, my lord 

PD: Mr Botes, you charged Siyoni, is that correct? 

JB: Yes, that is correct 

PD: Did Mr Siyoni have any [injury] to his person at that time? 

JB: Yes, his one eye was swollen 

PD: Which eye 

JB: His right eye 

PD: Was that injury obvious to you? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 11:35

TP: The information I have at my disposal, his first attorney was Swanepoel, who says he was almost unable to talk because his jaw was swollen 

TP: Are you aware of this? 

JB: We used to have general conversations while I was transporting him. It was never a case that I could not hear him speak 

TP: Thank you. No further questions. 

25 Oct 11:33

TP: Just a few more questions, my lord 

TP: Were you present when Vumazonke appeared in court on the 5th of May 2015? 

JB: Yes 

TP: So you would have heard him telling the magistrate that he had been assaulted? 

JB: No, I just transported him to the court 

TP: Were you aware that he applied for an attorney? 

JB: Not to my knowledge 

25 Oct 11:31

25 Oct 11:13

25 Oct 11:12

TP: That is correct. Were you present when this warning took place? 

JB: Yes 

TP: I refer him to notice P. Warning statement. Certificate by detainee 

TP: Here Mayi says he warned him in English 

TP: What do you make of that? 

JB: They were speaking Xhosa 

TP: I think we are done my lord, but can I ask for a brief adjournment? 

Chetty: Morning adjournment. Court is adjourned. 

25 Oct 11:09

TP: Can you speak or understand Xhosa?

JB: No 

TP: So how can you say you heard Mayi warning him? 

JB: Brig McLaren told him to 

TP: Did you hear Mayi warn Vumazonke with your own ears? 

JB: As a result of my lack of understanding of Xhosa, I cannot say for certain what was conveyed by Mayi to Vumazonke when he expained his rights to him and wrote down what was explained 

TP: So you would not know what Vumazonke said as he also spoke? 

JB: That is correct

25 Oct 11:06

TP: Did you make an entry in your pocket book that you were present? 

JB: No. I saw Mayi writing it out in the police register 

TP: What language did he speak to Vumazonke? 

JB: Xhosa 

TP: The whole time? 

JB: That is correct 

25 Oct 11:05

TP: Did you go with when they took Vumazonke to Uitenhage? 

JB: No. They transported him themselves 

JB: As far as my knowledge is concerned 

TP: The last we show an entry relating to one warrant officer Mostert. The entry says that Mostert instructs that Vumazonke should not be visited by his family and may only consult with his attorney. 

TP: I know you are not aware of this statement. But are you aware of anyone, including Brig McLaren, saying his family may not visit? 

JB: No 

TP: Are you aware of Vumazonke being warned of his rights? 

JB: Yes 

TP: Who was it, when and where? 

JB: Captain Mayi at the Despatch Police Station 

TP: Were you present? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 11:00

TP: You say you followed Brig McLaren, you were not in the vehicle with him 

JB: Yes 

TP: Why did you go? 

JB: I was part of the task team 

TP: Were you asked by McLaren? 

JB: Yes, there was a woman who was with Vumazonke and I transported her to Despatch 

TP: And he was kept there for a half hour before being moved to Uitenhage 

TP: Why was he kept there for such a short time? 

JB: Despatch did not have cells 

TP: What do you mean they didn't have cells? There is an entry in the occurrence book 

JB: Despatch was keeping their detainees at Uitenhage. I don't know if they had physical cells or were busy with restoration, but at that stage there were no cells available 

25 Oct 10:56

TP: Were you part of the questioning? 

JB: No 

TP: And where [was] the questioning taking place inside the station? 

JB: I found them outside. I don't know if they were ever inside the building with him 

TP: And was he with anyone? 

JB: He was with the tracing team

25 Oct 10:53

TP: I have been told by Vumazonke's legal team that he was taken there so that Siyoni can point him out 

JB: I can't testify to that, Brig McLaren can testify 

TP: Whose handcuffs do you refer to when you say you could not [them] get off? 

JB: I speak under correction, but I believe that they belonged to Brig McLaren 

TP: Is it your version because you could not find the key? 

JB: No, it was decided to take him there as it would be easier for the investigation and he would be closer to Captain Mayi who was investigating the case 

TP: Did you make such an entry in your pocket book? 

JB: Brigadier McLaren was the one who transported Vumazonke, so there is no pocket book entry about transporting Vumazonke from Kapega Park to Despatch 

TP: What time was Vumazonke moved from Kabega Park to Despatch? 

JB: Plus/minus 04:50 

TP: What was happening to him between 2am and 5am? 

JB: Brigadier McLaren was busy with the examination 

JB: I was searching the silver Polo 

JB: For clarity, I checked the integrity of the vehicle, I did not search it 

25 Oct 10:48

TP: So what you are saying is that had the prosecutor not shown you last week, you would never have remembered that the wrong entry was made? 

JB: Yes. We normally work with statements, we normally do not use occurrence book entries in dockets as evidence 

TP: According to your pocket book you got to Kabega Park police station at 03:10  

TP: According to state evidence, Vumazonke was arrested at around 01:30. According to state evidence, he was at Kabega Park around 02:30; according to your pocket book at 03:10, he was still there. At 05:45 he was booked in at Despatch, at 06:15 he was booked out at Despatch and taken to Uitenhage and then later you booked him out from Uitenhage and taken to Kwanobuhle. 

JB: Yes 

TP: Why was he taken to Kabega Park and not directly to Kwanobuhle, Despatch or Uitenhage? 

JB: He was taken to Kabega Park because it was a Kabega Park case 

TP: Would it surprise you that there is no mention that he was at Kabega Park, not in the occurrence book or the cell register? 

JB: If he is not going to be booked in there, then there is no necessity for him to entered into 

25 Oct 10:42

TP: Then how do you know he set it right? 

JB: Because he would have captured it the way he had explained it to me 

TP: That is not what you said. You said luckily he rectified it in the arresting statement 

TP: That would mean you have read it 

JB: I meant fortunately for the case 

TP: Your case, yes 

TP: When did you tell someone this was the wrong entry? 

JB: When I saw it here at court 

TP: When I saw it here 

JB: That was when the prosecutor showed me and asked me if it was my signature 

TP: When was that? 

JB: Last week Wednesday 

25 Oct 10:38

TP: That is your signature. Did you sign it without reading it? 

JB: I did not read the entry that was written, I was under the impression that the officer had written down what I had told him 

TP: So you were extremely negligent for not reading this, in your own version 

JB: Yes my lord, it is human error that crept in due to the long hours that had been put in that week 

TP: It would appear from this entry that the warrant officer who captured this entry got it completely wrong 

JB: Yes, but fortunately we were able to rectify it with the statements of the arresting officers 

TP: Are you speaking about Constable Mabija? 

JB: Yes 

TP: Did you read his statement? 

JB: No 

25 Oct 10:35

TP: So you're saying you got the information from Mabija, and relayed this to the charge officer, and that the charge officer had at that point in time no idea how SV had been injured? 

JB: That is correct 

TP: Was he a senior police officer? 

JB: He appeared to be a senior officer

 TP: As a police officer with 27 years' experience, you realise how important it is to get this entry 100% correct? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 10:33

TP: Let me take you to the entry in the occurrence book, exhibit AC 

TP: We are looking for entry on 3 May in the Despatch Occurrence book 

TP: As I understand your evidence, that I don't make a mistake 

TP: I have the court record here with me. You say you gave that information to the charge officer and he wrote it down 

JB: I did. I gave him information that he [SV] was injured during the arrest and he wrote it down that it was while he was being loaded into the vehicle 

TP: Just hold your horses... Where did you get this information from? 

JB: It was from the provincial tracing team, Constable Mabija 

25 Oct 10:29

TP: I have gone through your entire pocket book from page 53 all the way to the new pocket book, page 2 

TP: Unless you can help me out, your handwriting is as bad as mine, but I don't see any reference to any injuries to Siyoni 

TP: Or Vumazonke 

JB: I did make an entry in the Despatch Occurrence book about Vumazonke 

TP: I am referring to your pocket book 

JB: I did not make an entry in my pocket book, only in the occurrence book 

TP: You also make no reference to injury on Siyoni in your pocket book 

JB: No 

25 Oct 10:26

TP: Can you explain the 3 in brackets?

JB: At that stage I was under the impression he was going to be accused 3, but I did not have insight into the docket 

TP: I accept that, but you were part of the questioning 

JB: No, I took him to Organised Crime, where he was questioned by Captain Swanepoel 

TP: At that point was his eye still visibly swollen, the day after his arrest? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 10:24

TP: I want to deal with that. In fact, you wrote down very little of what you said 

TP: If we can call that up 

TP: I see we start on page 53, which starts in the middle of a sentence, do you have it with you? 

JB: I do 

TP: On your person? 

JB: I do, my lord, it contains sensitive information 

TP: I will only read from page 52 

TP: I read onto record: @ Organised crime the task team start questioning Siyoni [3] Kabega Park 

TP: Correct? 

JB: That is correct 

25 Oct 10:21

TP: When was that? 

JB: It was on Wednesday when I arrived here for the first time 

TP: That would be the 19th of October, last week Wednesday? 

JB: That is correct 

TP: And that was when your pocket book was loaded on the system? 

JB: That is correct 

TP: How is it that you record all your movements if you never made a statement? 

JB: I made notes in my pocket book 

25 Oct 10:18

JB: Captain Swanepoel asked me to submit a statement regarding the vehicle that I recovered 

TP: Let me cut to the chase - why did you not make a statement where you set out everything that you set out yesterday? 

JB: Swanepoel said he just wanted a statement on the vehice which I found back at ZEMS 

TP: Why did you not write one of your own accord? 

JB: I wrote what the investigating officer asked me, I was under the impression that the rest was not required 

TP: Did you not expect that you may be called to testify? JB: I did suspect that I would have to testify in relation to the recovery of the vehicle 

TP: When did you discover you had to come and tell his Lordship everything you told him yesterday? 

JB: When the state prosecutor approached me with all the exhibits 

25 Oct 10:15

TP: You were so highly regarded that you were specifically picked to be part of this team? 

JB: Yes 

TP: Apart from this statement we see, did you draft any other affidavit in this case? 

JB: No, not that I can recall 

TP: So where did all this evidence that you provided yesterday come from? 

25 Oct 10:12

TP: Is it not police protocol that if he needs medical assistance he should be offered? 

JB: That is correct, the cells are visited every hour and if he needs medication 

TP: To sum up, you saw him with a swollen eye and you never offered him medical assistance 

JB: No, I did not offer him medical assistance. I was under the impression that he was already receiving medical attention

TP: How long were you in the police at this time? 

JB: 27 years 

TP: And would it be right to assume that during that time you attended courses on how to draft statements? 

JB: Yes 

25 Oct 10:10

TP: We looked at your statement briefly yesterday and I want to go back to it and look at it again 

TP: Exhibit V23 

TP: If we come back to free of injury, his eye was still swollen closed 

JB: That is correct 

TP: Did he also fall against the car? 

JB: I wasn't there 

TP: Did you ask him? 

JB: No, Captain Swanepoel was there 

25 Oct 10:07

TP: That is the following day, after it was recorded that the suspect's eye was shut and swollen 

TP: Do you agree? 

TP: The entry that the suspect's eye was shut and swollen was on the 28th and this entry was the following day 

JB: That is correct 

TP: What is written there, is free of injury, but that can never be in a million years 

JB: That is correct, there were no new injuries on him 

TP: But that is not what is written there 

TP: Do you agree? 

TP: What is written there is he had no injuries, what is meant is he was booked back with no new injuries

25 Oct 10:03

TP: But what is clearly written here is that the suspect's eye is shut swollen 

JB: Yes 

TP: I want to take you to the next entry, is it you that booked Mr Siyoni in? 

JB: Can we just go back quickly? 

TP: Sure... 

JB: Yes, that is me 

25 Oct 10:01

TP: My lord, as discussed, I am not going to cross-examine him relating to Vumazonke 

Chetty: That is correct 

TP: I want to take you to the occurrence book that Mr Stander referred to 

TP: Let us look at the entry, whose signature is that? 

JB: I don't know 

25 Oct 09:59

MS: You testified yesterday about items in a sealed bag that were confiscated by the suspect and read out the seal no. Is this the bag you referred to? 

JB: Yes 

MS: If we move on to photo 116, is this the content of the bag? 

JB: Yes, the cash was in the wallet at that stage 

MS: And the following photos are of the content and here we see the cash that was in his wallet 

JB: That is correct 

MS: No further questions 

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