Port Elizabeth – The girlfriend of the alleged middleman in the Jayde Panayiotou murder appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on a charge of perjury on Friday.
Babalwa Breakfast was released on bail of R1 000 after being declared a hostile witness in the trial of Jayde’s husband Christopher and two co-accused. She was arrested on Thursday.
The drama started in the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, when prosecutor Marius Stander said her testimony as a State witness did not match her affidavit.
Christopher Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe, and Zolani Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing, and killing Jayde on April 21 2015. They pleaded not guilty.
State witness and Breakfast’s boyfriend Luthando Siyoni allegedly found the hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, who killed Jayde. Vumazonke died in a Port Elizabeth hospital in September. Siyoni worked as a bouncer at Panayiotou’s Infinity Cocktail Bar in Algoa Park.
Breakfast testified on Wednesday about a black gym bag she found at Siyoni’s home, and which she saw contained a great deal of money.
Stander produced a photograph of a black gym bag. Breakfast said it belonged to Siyoni.
When she asked him about it, he told her it was from working at the bar as a bouncer and from his gym. He was saving the money for renovations, he told her.
Siyoni asked her to count the money and she put it into a pair of school socks for safekeeping.
Three options for defence
Stander asked Judge Dayalin Chetty if Breakfast could be stood down and warned to get a lawyer.
Advocate Terry Price, for Panayiotou, objected, saying Stander only had three options: That he continues to lead evidence, that he stop leading evidence, or that he declares the witness hostile.
In her original statement, Breakfast said Panayiotou had approached Siyoni and asked him to kill Jayde.
Siyoni told her he could not do it, but that he could find people who could. Eventually, in April, Siyoni told her that he had found someone called Sizwe.
On Wednesday afternoon however, Breakfast denied saying anything about the plot, or that Panayiotou would pay R50 000 for the alleged hit.
Originally she had said Siyoni had returned from meeting Panayiotou with a black bag and she was asked to count out R50 000 meant to pay Vumazonke.
Breakfast flatly denied this.
“I never mentioned it to the police, because I never talked about R50 000,” she said.
She said a police officer wrote her statement down and she signed it without reading it.