Port Elizabeth – The first sitting of the trial of Christopher
Panayiotou and his co-accused for the murder of his wife Jayde has drawn to a
close, and will only resume in April next year.
the final day in court, defence counsel for Panayiotou applied to Judge Dayalin
Chetty that a court order be granted to
allow them to consult with some of the State witnesses.
Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring,
kidnapping, robbing, and killing Jayde.
29-year-old teacher was kidnapped from outside her townhouse complex in Kabega
Park, Port Elizabeth, while waiting for
her lift to Riebeek College Girls High School on Tuesday, April 21, last year.
She was found shot dead in a veld outside KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, the following day.
Terry Price, SC, said the defence would like to consult with State witnesses
Chanelle Coutts, Donovan Vosloo, Wilna van der Berg, as well as Babalwa
Breakfast and Luthando Siyoni, who have already testified.
is believed to have organised the alleged hitman, Sizwe Vumazonke, who died in
hospital in September. Siyoni turned State witness after his arrest.
argued that the witnesses, specifically Coutts, were critical to the case and
that it was vital that the defence had access to them. Price also pointed out
that Siyoni was a critical witness for the trial within a trial, as the way he
was treated was central to the admissibility of the conversation between him
also indicated that the State would be allowed to attend any of these
consultations and that the defence was even prepared to record the interviews.
He also said, should any of the witnesses choose not to be interviewed by them,
they would respect that.
also requested that a separate order be
made that the State provide the defence with the names of any witnesses not on
the State’s witness list, as well as the relevant affidavits, before the
recommencement of the trial next year.
Marius Stander said the State opposed the application. He said the defence had
asked the State if it intended calling the witnesses, and whether they could
consult with them.
to witnesses denied
said the application was premature at best, as the trial within a trial would
determine the direction of the State’s case and, based on that, they would
decide who to call.
also asked, seeing as most of the witnesses mentioned had legal representation,
why the defence simply didn’t put their requests for specific information in
is the court not being told what the defence wants to ask the witnesses,”
said he would leave the decision on Siyoni and Breakfast in the hands of the
court as both had been declared hostile and had already led evidence.
said he had already dismissed Siyoni and would call him again when he discussed
the merits of his testimony in terms of his section 204 status.
then dismissed the defence’s application for access to the witnesses. He did,
however, order that Stander provide Price
with a comprehensive list of the witnesses he intended calling, as well as the
then confirmed the dates of the next two sittings
in 2017, with the first scheduled from April 19 to May 5, and the second from
June 12 to June 30.