Luthando Siyoni, a self-confessed middleman who helped plan the murder of Jayde Panayiotou on behalf of her husband Christopher Panayiotou, is expected back in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court for the continuation of his bail hearing on Monday.
Siyoni, who managed to evade arrest for six months, faces charges that include murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Siyoni, who worked for businessman Christopher Panayiotou, confessed to his role in sourcing a hitman and implicated Panayiotou as the one behind the plan to have his wife murdered.
But Siyoni, who was meant to be the prosecution’s star witness, recanted his statements made to police and refused to answer any of state advocate Marius Stander’s questions during Panayiotou’s murder trial. In an undercover police sting operation video, Panayiotou is seen and heard talking to Siyoni about Jayde’s murder. The court found that the video laid bare Panayiotou’s complicity in his wife’s murder.
Siyoni’s conduct was criticised by Judge Dayalin Chetty, who in his judgment called his testimony “a cocktail of lies, perjury, and contrivances” designed to advance Panayiotou’s defence.
– African News Agency (ANA)