While the distraught family of slain Port Elizabeth teacher Jade Panayiotou (29) are still battling to come to terms with her death, a close family member is set to appear in court in connection with her murder on Monday.
The family member – who cannot be named until he has been charged – was arrested on Wednesday when police swooped in on him at an Uitenhage address after 10pm.
The arrest followed after police set a trap for the man believed to be the alleged mastermind behind Jayde’s killing.
According to police sources they were able to swoop on the suspect after he made contact with a bouncer at an Algoa Park pub, over extra money that reportedly needed to be paid for the alleged hit on the
The bouncer, Luthando Siyoli (31), allegedly demanded more money from the relative, claiming he needed it due to the hype and huge public interest surrounding Jayde’s killing.
The family member was arrested following a week of intense investigation by members of the Hawks.
Leading Port Elizabeth attorney, Alwyn Griebenow confirmed that he was representing the relative arrested in connection with the murder.
The popular Riebeek College school teacher’s body was found on a farm in Rocklands near Uitenhage on 22 April at 10:00. She had been shot in the head and upper body.
It is believed that Siyoli was allegedly involved in the abduction and kidnapping of the deceased. The motive for the killing remains unknown, while another suspect is still at large.
During a media briefing following the relative’s arrest, provincial police spokeswoman, Brigadier Marinda Mills said a prima facie case against the two suspects existed. Police also confirmed that
robbery had been ruled out as a motive for the killing.
Jayde’s case at first seemed to be a run-of-the-mill abduction and killing after it emerged that she was taken while waiting for a lift to school outside her townhouse complex, where she shared a home with her
husband, Christopher (28).
After her body had been found, thousands of residents of Port Elizabeth took part in a march in Kabega Park in her memory, calling for the death penalty to be reinstated.
Social media sites have also been abuzz, from the time of her initial disappearance to the finding of her body and the subsequent arrests. Mills, though, warned people not to take to social media to vent their frustrations or to speculate as this could hinder the police investigation. Griebenow also called for calm on social media.
? 21 April :
06:30 Panayiotou is kidnapped in front of her Stellen Glen home in Kabega Park.
07:00 Workers in KwaNobuhle heard gunshots being fired.
09:00 Money is withdrawn from her bank account in KwaNobuhle.
14:00 Video material taken from an ATM machine in KwaNobuhle of possible suspects is released.
Later in the afternoon police found an abandoned Mazda 323 that had been reported stolen in New Brighton. They believed the vehicle were used to kidnap Jayde.
? 22 April:
10:00 Jayde’s body is found.
19:00 Angry residents lead a mass march in her memory.
? 28 April:
14:00 Jayde’s funeral takes place at Mater Dei church.
? 30 April:
09:00 Luthando Siyoli appears in court and is charged.
10:00 Police announce the arrests.