Protests outside Panayiotou court as hearing delayed again

2016-05-03 12:51
(Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

(Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

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Port Elizabeth - Christopher Panayiotou, who is accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife Jayde, will have to wait another two weeks before getting a date for a pre-trial hearing in the High Court.

Legal Aid attorney Khayalethu Saziwa, for Panayiotou’s co-accused Sinethemba Nenembe, told the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday that he had not yet handed a one terabyte hard drive to the State, so it could give him a copy of the docket.

At the last appearance in April, the court ordered Saziwa to hand the prosecution a hard drive, before Tuesday’s appearance. Saziwa told Magistrate Este Petzer the drive had only been secured on Tuesday.

To further complicate matters, Saziwa said Nenembe's family had approached Nenembe's previous attorney, Peter Daubermann, and told him to resume with the case.

Daubermann withdrew at the last appearance as he had not been paid. Nenembe then got a Legal Aid lawyer.

Panayiotou was arrested on April 28 last year and has been held at St Albans prison as an awaiting trial prisoner. Both his initial bail application and subsequent appeal were denied.

Nenembe and the third accused, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, were still in custody.

Jayde, a teacher at Riebeek College Girls’ High School in Uitenhage, was kidnapped while waiting for her lift outside her complex in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, on April 21 last year. She was found shot dead near KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, the following day.

On Tuesday, Panayiotou’s family and friends filled the first row of the public gallery. Jayde’s family and Justice for Jayde supporters filled the second row. Workers from OK Grocers in Algoa Park, which Panayiotou managed, were in the front row.

They wore blue T-shirts with "Christopher Panayiotou" emblazoned across the front and "innocent" across the back.

Family members sit in the front row. (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

Workers from OK Grocers in Algoa Park in support of their boss. (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

A small group of the DA's Woman's Network demanding "Justice For Jayde". (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

NPA spokesperson Tsepo Ndwalaza. (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

Talking to the press briefly outside the court after the proceedings, the group said they wanted their boss back.

"There have been a lot of things said, but we also have a right to be heard. We want our boss back," said one woman who did not want to be named.

A small group of the Democratic Alliance's Woman's Network (Dawn) members were outside the court bearing posters with the words "Justice for Jayde".

Panayiotou appeared healthy, wearing a crisp white shirt and black blazer and looked like he had recently had a haircut.

Petzer said it was unfortunate that the delays had occurred, but accepted the application to remand the case to May 16.

She instructed Legal Aid to urgently provide the State with the hard drive and seek clarity from Nenembe and his family about Daubermann's appointment ahead of the next appearance.

State prosecutor Marius Stander, Panayiotou's attorney Alwyn Griebenow, and Vumazonke's attorney Michelle Blignault, confirmed they were available on that date.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Tsepo Ndwalaza said the State was disappointed by the remand. The State had completed its investigation and was ready to begin, he said.

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

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