Port Elizabeth – The Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth has heard how one of the co-accused in the Christopher Panayiotou case was tricked into giving his details to the police.
Panayiotou and his co accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, are facing charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing and killing Jayde Panayiotou.
She was abducted outside her townhouse complex in Kabega Park and later murdered in a field near KwaNobuhle on April 21, 2015. A fourth suspect, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, the alleged hitman, died before the trial began.
State prosecutor Marius Stander called warrant officer Shane Bosch to testify. Bosch had previously testified in the trial within a trial relating to the admissibility of the video between Panayiotou and alleged middleman Luthando Siyoni.
Bosch told how he had been asked by investigating officer Kanna Swanepoel to follow up on a cellphone number in relation to the case.
Bosch said he had called and pretended to have been from a cellphone service provider and that the number had been selected in a lucky draw.
He told the court how he had advised Sibeko that he could win R500 if he could answer a simple question.
He said Sibeko had then given him an address in Zwide and had informed him that he was currently employed building houses in Greenbushes.
Bosch said on further investigation, they had discovered Sibeko no longer resided at the address given and that an elderly gentleman that resided there had provided them with a new address.
On arriving at the house in question, Bosch said the woman at the door had identified herself as Sibeko’s mother and had advised them that he no longer resided there.
Bosch said they had insisted on searching the property to confirm he was not at home, and had found him inside.
Bosch said they had then asked him for the cellphone in question, but Sibeko had informed them that he did not have it on him, and that it was in his room where he slept.
He told the court that when he arrived in the room a woman was busy tidying. He said Swanepoel had called the phone number and at the same time the woman had started leaving.
“I asked her where she was going and she turned and opened her gown to show us that she had nothing on her, but then the phone’s screen, which was in her gown pocket, lit up,” he said.
Bosch said he had then confiscated the phone and placed it in an evidence bag, before Sibeko was taken into custody.
Bosch was briefly cross examined by Panayiotou’s defence, Advocate Terry Price, who again objected, arguing that the state ambushed him, as last week the state had confirmed that Swanepoel was going to be called and he had prepared to cross examine him.
Defence attorney for Sibeko and Nenembe, Peter Dauberman said he was not able to proceed with questioning as he had not prepared for the witness, and asked that the witness stand down.
Stander indicated he would not be able to proceed with the next witness, and Judge Dayalin Chetty then adjourned court for the day.
The trial continues.