Port Elizabeth – The trial of Christopher Panayiotou, accused of the murder of his wife Jayde, is set to continue in the High Court in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
On Wednesday, a Nedbank account manager denied that she leaked confidential information to him about activity on his wife’s bank account.
Estelle Burger had to explain why there were 14 telephone calls between her and Panayiotou on April 21 last year, the day Jayde went missing and was murdered.
Panayiotou called her to ask if she could change the cellphone number for the banking activity SMSes sent to a client’s cellphone.
Panayiotou told her he was still at home and not at his computer, so could not do it himself.
That morning, Jayde was kidnapped from outside the Stellen Glen complex on Deacon Road in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, while waiting for her lift to Riebeek College Girls’ High School in Uitenhage, where she was a teacher.
Her body was found in a veld in KwaNobuhle, outside the city, the following day. She had been shot three times – twice in the back and once in the head.
Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing and killing Jayde. They have pleaded not guilty.
Burger confirmed that she told Panayiotou she did not have the authority to access Jayde’s account, but that she would do everything she could to help.
“So out of the kindness of your heart and caring of your bank you gave him the information he asked for?” his lawyer Terry Price suggested.
Burger denied this.
The court heard that police and an investigator from Protea Coin security company located the ATM in KwaNobuhle where withdrawals from Jayde’s account were made.
In the course of trying to pull a photograph from CCTV footage at the ATMs, police got the photo of the wrong person, and circulated his picture as a suspect. They eventually found the image of the person who had withdrawn the money from Jayde’s account. The picture was however of such poor quality that it was unusable.