Panayiotou trial: state witness declared hostile, arrested

CAPTION: Luthando Siyoni appears in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

CAPTION: Luthando Siyoni appears in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

In a dramatic turn of events, Siyoni’s girlfriend was arrested for perjury and defeating the ends of justice.

Luthando Siyoni’s girlfriend, Babalwa Breakfast, was declared a hostile witness in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday. Shortly after being excused from the stand, she was seen being escorted by police officials to the court’s holding cells.

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Breakfast was testifying in the ongoing trial involving Christopher Panayiotou and his two co-accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko.

Crying hysterically, she hid her face from reporters and photographers as she was led away by police officers.

Siyoni was employed by Panayiotou as a bouncer at his Infinity nightclub. The state alleges Panayiotou paid Siyoni to hire hitman Sizwe Vumazonke to kidnap and murder Jayde in April last year.

Under cross examination on Thursday, Breakfast was questioned by defence advocate Terry Price.

At one point she broke down in tears.

She was able to recall much more detail when asked questions by the defence as opposed to Wednesday.

She remembered Colonel Willie Mayi taking down her statement at Kabega Park Police Station and said he had never asked her to read it and that she was just told to sign it.

Breakfast also recalled her movements in detail prior to being taken to the police station.

She said when she saw Siyoni at Infinity nightclub, she had noted no injuries, as he passed her to get into a separate police vehicle.

Breakfast then said she saw Siyoni later the same day during the early hours at Kabega Park Police Station: “If I’m not mistaken, his left or right eye was swollen, he had a scratch on the lip, and his jeans were ripped,” said Breakfast.

On Wednesday, Breakfast denied almost all the contents contained in two statements she had made to police last year.

An excerpt from one of her statements read: “In April, but I am not sure of the date, Thando has again informed me that he has found a guy that he called Sizwe who told him that he would kill the said lady for him. According to Thando, the person that would successfully do the job for Chris would be paid an amount of R50 000.”

On Wednesday, Breakfast told the prosecution she had never said this.

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Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rebsburg confirmed Breakfast’s arrest and said she would appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court on Friday on charges of perjury and defeating the ends of justice.

– African News Agency (ANA)


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