Luthando Siyoli, 31, is one of three men — including her husband Christopher Panayiotou — who were charged with orchestrating the murder of Jayde in April. The third suspect is Sizwe Prince Vumazonke whom Siyoli allegedly recruited as the triggerman.
Tsepo Ndwalaza, Eastern Cape NPA spokesperson, confirmed that the charges were formally withdrawn against Siyoli who has turned State witness and will be key to proving the State’s case against Panayiotou and Vumazonke.
“We can confirm that the charges were withdrawn,” Ndwalaza said. “He is now a 204 state witness.”
Siyoli appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday when the charges were formally withdrawn. The matter had not been placed on the court roll.
Panayiotou and Vumazonke will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
Panayiotou was dealt a major blow recently when his appeal against an earlier decision to deny him bail was dismissed in the Grahamstown High Court.
Jayde was assaulted, thrown in the boot of a car and shot twice in the back and once in the head. Her body was found on the outskirts of KwaNobuhle township in Uitenhage a day after she disappeared.