Port Elizabeth – A hostile State witness in Christopher Panayiotou’s murder trial was taken into custody to face charges, minutes after her testimony in the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Police officers escorted Babalwa Breakfast to the court’s holding cells at lunchtime. She cried hysterically, tried to hide her face, and clutched a roll of toilet paper.
Police spokesperson Captain Sandre Janse van Rensburg told News24 that a 23-year-old woman was taken into custody and charged with perjury and defeating the ends of justice. She would appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing, and killing his wife Jayde on April 21 2015. They pleaded not guilty. The alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, died in September.
Panayiotou, 29, was abducted outside her home in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, while waiting for her lift to Riebeeck Park High School. She was found shot dead in a veld outside KwaNobuhle township, Uitenhage, the following day.
Breakfast’s boyfriend Luthando Siyoni, the alleged middleman who helped Panayiotou find Vumazonke, has turned State witness.
When the court adjourned after lunch, Terry Price, for Panayiotou, said he would argue that Breakfast’s arrest was “flagrant intimidation” by the State.
Peter Daubermann, for the remaining accused, said it sent a message that witnesses would be arrested unless they told the court what the State wanted them to say. It would affect his