Port Elizabeth – Christopher Panayiotou will have to wait one more day to hear if he will be granted bail after being accused of the murder of his wife Jayde.
Magistrate Abigail Beeton said she had hoped to hand down judgment on Thursday in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court and had a draft order for his bail application ready.
But she said she wanted one more day to reconsider, following “clarity” she had received during Thursday’s proceedings.
Earlier, Panayiotou’s lawyer Terry Price and prosecutor Marius Stander had slugged it out verbally in a tense stand-off over motive.
Price demanded to see a statement purportedly by an investigating officer claiming that Jayde was killed because her husband was cash strapped and he would be disinherited by his family if he carried on seeing his girlfriend Chanelle Coutts.
Price dismissed the motive as a “thumbsuck” and was just about to make an application to see the document, when the court’s recording equipment crashed.
After a short adjournment to reboot and check the equipment, Price withdrew his intention to make the application, saying he did not want to waste the court’s time.
Beeton postponed the matter to 10:00 on Friday and told Panayiotou that he would only be told if he was granted bail or not – the reasons for her decision would come later.
Jayde disappeared on April 21 after last being seen outside her home waiting for a lift to the school where she taught. Her body was later found, and her husband was arrested on April 29 for her murder.
He faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder‚ kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice.
Thando Siyoli‚ 31‚ and Sizwezakhe Vumazonke‚ 30‚ are Panayiotou’s co-accused. Siyoli has turned State witness, and may get immunity from prosecution, while Coutts, who has not been accused of being involved, will be a direct witness.
She has her own lawyer now.
Both Christopher and Jayde’s families were in court.
The court heard earlier that Panayiotou would hand over his travel documents, including his Cypriot and South African identity documents.
He would subject himself to the police checking his whereabouts through GPS checking via cellphone. The OK Grocer, which he has shares in, is also close to the Algoa Park Police Station in the city.
Former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor and current representative of Gender Equality, Nondumiso Maphazi was also present in the packed court, with a watching brief.
Derrick Spies, News24 correspondent, Jenni Evans, News24
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