National 25.8.2016 09:20 am

Panayiotou back in PE court for wife’s murder

FILE PICTURE: Christopher Panayiotou stares straight ahead during his bail hearing application, 20 May 2015, at the Magistrates Court, Port Elizabeth. Picture: Judy de Vega

FILE PICTURE: Christopher Panayiotou stares straight ahead during his bail hearing application, 20 May 2015, at the Magistrates Court, Port Elizabeth. Picture: Judy de Vega

The Jailed businessman’s previous bail attempts have been rejected by the court.

A pre-trial conference is expected to get under way in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday, in the case involving businessman Christopher Panayiotou, accused of plotting the murder of his schoolteacher wife Jayde Panayiotou.

In July, Panayiotou made his first appearance in the Port Elizabeth High Court alongside co-accused 30-year-old Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and 28-year-old Sinethemba Nemembe. A self-confessed middleman Luthando Siyoni, who claims he arranged the hit, has since become a state witness.

Panayiotou is accused of orchestrating the murder of his schoolteacher wife in April last year, allegedly because she was a “financial burden”.

The trial has been set down for October 3 until December 2. Vumazonke and Nemembe are accused of carrying out the alleged hit together with a fifth suspect 35-year-old Zolani Sibeko.

Sibeko was arrested last month after police used cellphone plotting, which placed him at the scene of the Stellen Glen complex, where the alleged kidnapping took place.

In June, the same court rejected the businessman’s bail application and ruled that Panayiotou remain behind bars until his trial.

It is alleged Panayiotou paid Siyoni, a bouncer at his Infinity nightclub, to hire alleged hitman Vumazonke to kidnap and murder his wife.

Siyoni has since become a section 204 witness, which means that he is indemnified from prosecution if the court is satisfied at the end of the trial that he testified honestly.

The state alleges that Nenembe assisted Vumazonke to kidnap and kill Jayde at the behest of her husband, who has been held at the St Albans prison for more than a year.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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