Bail judgment postponed for self-confessed middleman in Panayiotou murder

The matter was postponed to next week because the presiding magistrate was unavailable.

Judgment in the bail application of the self-confessed middleman in the Jayde Panayiotou murder has been postponed.

Luthando Siyoni was due back in court on Friday, but the matter was postponed to next week because the presiding magistrate was unavailable.

Siyoni, who faces a charge of murder after his immunity from prosecution was revoked, was arrested in KwaZakhele last month after evading police for nearly six months.

Siyoni, who had 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 Jayde 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 a trial-within-a-trial at the murder trial.

In an undercover police sting operation video, Panayiotou is seen and heard talking to Siyoni about the hit on Jayde’s life.

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.

Panayiotou and Sinethemba Nenembe were found guilty of Jayde’s murder, while Zolani Sibeko was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.

Judgment in Siyoni’s bail application is expected to be handed down on Monday.

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