Christopher Panayiotou’s bouncer Luthando Siyoni will spend a fourth day on the stand in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday.
Siyoni, who turned state witness, is testifying in the murder trial of his boss. Panayiotou is accused of orchestrating the murder of his schoolteacher wife, Jayde, in April last year.
The businessman and his co-accused, Sinethembe Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko have been in the dock for several weeks. Alleged triggerman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke died in custody.
On Tuesday, Siyoni dropped a bombshell while addressing Judge Dayalin Chetty on alleged behind-the-scene conversations between himself, his lawyer and the prosecution.
Siyoni said: “I told [Prosecutor Marius] Stander I was not going to mention what was written here because it is rubbish. If he did not agree then they [could] make me an accused”.
Stander for the most part on Monday, discredited his key witness by asking the nightclub bouncer questions about a statement he had made to police at Fort Beaufort.
Siyoni recanted most of the content in the statement. He denied that Panayiotou asked him to arrange for people to kill Jayde.
Siyoni also denied that he stated: “Chris asked me why it was taking so long to kill his wife. I phoned Sizwe Vumazonke and asked him the same question”.
He simply stated: “I do not recall saying this” or “I did not mention this voluntarily, I was forced.”
Siyoni attempted to defend his testimony by way of making a 15 minute speech, he told Chetty that Investigating Officer Kanna Swanepoel and the prosecution continually visited him at prison, without the knowledge of his lawyer Zolile Ngqeza.
He claimed that the prosecution and investigating officer were “always rectifying” the statement.
The State alleges that Nemembe assisted Vumazonke to kidnap and murder Jayde at the behest of her husband. Vumazonke, who was the alleged link between Siyoni and the other accused, has since died.
The life skills teacher was driven to a remote area on the outskirts of Kwanobuhle, where she was murdered. The State contends Vumazonke fired two shots through Jayde’s back and a final shot through her head.