Port Elizabeth – Murder accused Christopher Panayiotou will go on trial at the Port Elizabeth High Court in October this year.
Just more than a year since the murder of Jayde Panayiotou, the case against her husband Christopher and his two co-accused, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nenembe was on Monday transferred to the Port Elizabeth High Court.
A pre-trial conference will take place on July 26 and the trial will kick off on October 3.
The State alleges that Nenembe assisted alleged hitman Vumazonke to kidnap and kill Jayde at the behest of her husband, Christopher Panayiotou.
She was killed in April last year. Her body was found outside Kwanobuhle township in Uitenhage.
All three accused appeared in court on Monday with their legal representatives.
Legal aid previously representing Nenembe formally withdrew from the case and Peter Daubermann is now his official lawyer.
State prosecutor Marius Stander indicated that a date was also arranged for Panayiotou’s third bail application.
The bail application on new facts will take place on Tuesday.
Panayiotou has been languishing at St Albans Prison since his arrest last year. He was initially denied bail in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court and then again in the Grahamstown High Court when he appealed that decision.
Stander read out the charges against the three men which include conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Panayiotou faces an additional charge of obstructing the ends of justice.
Meanwhile, court was once again packed and Panayiotou’s employees from the OK grocer in Algoa Park attended proceedings for the second time wearing navy blue T-shirts with the words “Christopher Panayiotou” in front and “innocent” at the back .
It previously emerged that Panayiotou owned a 10 percent share at the OK Grocer in Algoa Park along with his dad Costa and an uncle who conducts business in Johannesburg.
The store’s turnover was between R4 million and R6 million per month and Panayiotou drew a salary of R30 000 per month.
According to Panayiotou’s affidavit, OK Grocer employed sixty employees, whose livelihoods and that of their families depended on their salaries.
During a previous bail application it emerged that Panayiotou was running the business by means of notes he wrote to his family from prison.
The women previously told reporters that they wanted their boss back at work and that they missed him.
The DA Women’s Network also staged a silent picket protest outside court to raise awareness around the impact of gender violence on women and children.
The school teacher was allegedly abducted outside her home while waiting for an early morning lift to work. The State alleges her husband had her killed because she was a “financial burden”.
She was reportedly hit on the head and placed in the boot of her abductor’s car. She was then apparently shot at close range – twice in the back and once in the head.
African News Agency