The trial of the men accused of the murder of schoolteacher Jayde Panayiotou will kick off in the Port Elizabeth High Court next month.
Judge Glenn Goosen on Thursday indicated the matter was trial-ready.
It also emerged Judge Dayalin Chetty would reside over the matter, which is expected to be a mammoth trial set to go from October 11 to December 2.
Jayde’s husband Christopher Panayiotou, along with two co-accused Sinethembe Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko were back in court for pretrial proceedings on Thursday.
The alleged triggerman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke has since died after suffering from a short-term illness while in custody. The state has yet to receive a toxicology report.
Vumazonke’s lawyers also formally withdrew from the case on Thursday.
Prosecutor Marius Stander and Panayiotou’s lawyers both indicated they were ready for the matter to proceed to trial.
Lawyer Peter Daubermann, who is representing Nenembe and Sibeko, said he was not ready to proceed to trial, as he was awaiting information from the state.
Daubermann said there were allegations that the accused had conspired and acted in common purpose, and he needed information from the prosecution regarding these specific claims.
Panayiotou is accused of orchestrating the murder and abduction of his schoolteacher wife, Jayde, in April last year.
It is alleged he paid bouncer at his Infinity nightclub Luthando Siyoni, to hire hitman Vumazonke to kidnap and kill Jayde.
The state alleges Nenembe helped Vumazonke to kidnap and murder Jayde at the behest of her husband.
Siyoni has since turned states witness.
Cellphone plotting showed a fifth accused, Sibeko, was with Nenembe and Vumazonke outside Jayde’s Stellen Glenn Complex in Kabega Park just five days before she was abducted.
The men are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition.
Panayiotou is facing an additional charge of defeating the ends of justice.
– African News Agency (ANA)