Port Elizabeth – Christopher Panayiotou’s mistress, Chanelle Coutts, is expected to take to the stand in his defence on Monday morning when the trial resumes in the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth.
Panayiotou and his co-accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, are facing charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing and killing Panayiotou’s wife Jayde. A fourth suspect, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, the alleged hitman, died before the trial began.
The beloved 29-year-old teacher was kidnapped outside her townhouse complex in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, while waiting for her lift to Riebeek College Girls High School, on the morning of Tuesday, April 21 in 2015.
She was found shot dead in a veld outside KwaNobuhle township, Uitenhage, the following day.
Details of Panayiotou’s sordid affair came to light when Coutts’ best friend, Clarishka Kapp, took to the stand for the State a year ago.
Kapp told the court about the relationship between Coutts, who had worked at the OK Grocer, and Panayiotou.
She spoke about expensive gifts, including a Polo handbag, Panayiotou had given Coutts, how Coutts had slept over at the Panayiotou’s townhouse in Kabega Park when Jayde was away, and how Coutts and Panayiotou would spend nights together at a local hotel.
Panayiotou’s defence began presenting their case when the last sitting began on September 26.
Advocate Terry Price, SC, started by calling a surprise witness, deputy director of public prosecution, advocate Selvan Gounden.
After Gounden, Price has only called three other witnesses. Coutts is believed to be the final witness before Panayiotou’s defence will conclude their case.
State prosecutor Marius Stander indicated that he will be requesting to reopen the state’s case once the defence concludes, so that the state can call additional witnesses, to respond to Gounden’s testimony.
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