Port Elizabeth – The cop who took down Luthando Siyoni’s statement implicating businessman Christopher Panayiotou arranging a hit on his wife was insistent that the bouncer waived his right to having an attorney present at the time of making a confession in Fort Beaufort, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Wednesday.
Under cross examination, Captain Ntembiso Ndzenzevu, who has been with the police for 29 years, testified in the ongoing murder trial involving Panayiotou and his two co-accused. The trio are charged with the murder of school teacher Jayde Panayiotou in April last year.
After being taken in for questioning and subsequently arrested while in Port Elizabeth – Siyoni was then transported to Fort Beaufort by Warrant Officer Dirk Greef – the bouncer would later meet Ndzenzevu who took down his confession.
Ndzenzevu told the court that upon meeting Siyoni and reading out his constitutional rights, the bouncer did not want legal representation.
“If he wanted an attorney we would of stopped immediately, I remember specifically asking [Siyoni] do you want an attorney now and [Siyoni] said no,” he said.
However, Defence Advocate Terry Price, SC, wanted to know why Ndzenzuvu did not make a note of such “crucial” information.
“That’s crazy, Captain. Are you saying that nowhere in that document did you indicate in writing that he didn’t want one? So what you are saying is, that despite him telling you he did not want an attorney, you decided not to enter it onto this document?” asked Price.
Ndzenzevu responded saying: “I didn’t see the need for it, and don’t see the need now. If he had indicated he needed a legal practitioner, we would have stopped at that point. The reason I emphasised to him do you want an attorney,now, was because I wanted to make it clear.”
The cop also said that he did not notice Siyoni had a swollen eye.
“There are a number of entries in the occurrence book at Kabega Park by people not involved in this case that noted the swollen eye,” argued Price.
Price ended off with his cross examination by putting two rhetorical questions to the Captain.
“If you take a statement from a person, let us call it statement A, and five days later you take another statement, and there are material differences, that would be a concern?”
“And that would be an indication that the person is telling a lie?”
Ndzenzevu replied yes to both questions.
During the trial it emerged that Siyoni made a statement to Ndzenzevu while he also made two statements to Investigating Officer Kanna Swanepoel.
The State alleges that Sinethemba Nemembe assisted Sizwe Vumazonke to kidnap and murder Jayde at the behest of her husband Christopher. Vumazonke, who was the alleged link between Siyoni and other hitmen, has since died.
Jayde was driven to a remote area on the outskirts of Kwanobuhle, where the alleged murder took place. The State contends Vumazonke fired two shots through Jayde’s back and a final shot through her head.
Zolani Sibeko was the last suspect to be arrested, 15 months after the murder. He was apparently placed – through cellphone mapping – outside Jayde’s complex in the days before her murder.
The trial continues on Thursday.
African News Agency