The father of slain Riebeek College school teacher Jayde Panayiotou told the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday that once upon a time he thought his son-in-law was a ” very good man” and Christopher was like a friend to him.
Derrick Inggs testified on the 17th day in the murder trial involving Panayiotou and his two co-accused Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko.
Inggs appeared angry when on the stand, he would at times look directly at Panayiotou who made no eye contact with him. Panayiotou appeared rattled by Inggs’s presence. He avoided looking at Inggs and instead looked down or straight ahead and at one point turned red and held his face during his father in-law’s testimony.
Inggs told the court that he had installed bar fittings at Infinity night club free of charge for Christopher as he was family.
He testified that he gave Jayde R40 000 to settle outstanding money for her car. In addition, Jayde’s parents gave her R200 000 as the school teacher needed a loan and Inggs decided it was easier if he loaned her the money.
“Jayde said they needed the money for transfer fees, so we decided to give them the money and Jayde would pay us back when she could, they didn’t have to pay us back right away,” said Inggs.
Jayde’s mother, Michelle, was emotional and broke down in tears through much of her husband’s testimony.
The court previously heard, in Christopher’s plea explanation, that the couple bought a house in Lovemore Heights Estate. The house was registered in Christopher’s name.
At one point Advocate Terry Price raised an objection but before he could address Judge Dayalin Chetty, Inggs blurted out “I’m not upset, this is my daughter we talking about.”
Inggs also went on to relive the day of Jayde’s disappearance on April 21 last year.
He recalled searching for his daughter in the township of Kwanobuhle and how he raced through with his friend Riaan to Njoli Square.
“We raced through, I phoned accused number 1, he asked me what were we doing there. He came to meet us, I saw a number of his family members and I felt very much in the way,” he recalled.
Inggs recalled searching for his daughter for hours on end. He said during the early hours of the morning he decided to go home and have a cat nap.
“When I got up Riaan and I decided to go out again, accused number 1 [Christopher] slept in my daughter’s bed that night”.
Under cross examination, Price put it to Inggs that his description of what happened on April 21, 2015 was “inaccurate” and cell phone records would prove it.
Inggs said the day of Jayde’s disappearance was a “confusing day”, he was reluctant to commit to exact times search parties met up and who he exactly saw.
Price asked Inggs: “There are probably very few people who know your daughter better than you. Was Jayde someone who just spent money?”
Inggs replied: “My daughter was not an expensive person and if she wanted something expensive she would buy it on her own.”
The trial continues.
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