Panayiotou’s bouncer refuses to answer questions, gets cocky

African News Agency (ANA)

Panayiotou’s bouncer refuses to answer questions, gets cocky
PHOTO: Raahil Sain

Christopher Panayiotou and co-accused, Sinethembe Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday, where they are on trial for the murder of the businessman’s schoolteacher wife, Jayde Panayiotou.

Alleged triggerman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke died in custody.

Panayiotou is suspected of orchestrating his wive’s murder. He allegedly asked his nightclub bouncer Luthando Siyoni to find hitmen to carry out the murder of the life skills teacher. Siyoni has since turned state witness.

On Wednesday, the state witness – the alleged middle – flipped the switch and was tight-lipped when asked questions about two statements he made to Investigating Officer Captain Kanna Swanepoel that incriminate him and his boss.

Siyoni who claims he was beaten by police and coerced into making the statements recanted the contents.

In court, the state witness repeatedly told the court: “I am not going to answer the question”.

Siyoni would also not confirm the signatures as his own on the two statements.

He even questioned Prosecutor Marius Stander, boldly asking: “Mr Stander did you hear me when I said I’m not going to answer these questions?”

Stander replied: “I heard you, I’m just affording you an opportunity”.

As a Section 204 witness, Siyoni, who has been on the stand for four days, risks losing possible immunity granted to such witnesses that meet the required criteria.

The State alleges that Sinethemba Nemembe assisted Sizwe Vumazonke to kidnap and murder Jayde at the behest of her husband. Vumazonke, who was the alleged link between Siyoni and other accused, has since died.

Jayde was driven to a remote area on the outskirts of Kwanobuhle, where the alleged murder took place. The state contends Vumazonke fired two shots through Jayde’s back and a final shot through the left side of her head.

Zolani Sibeko was the last suspect to be arrested, 15 months after the murder. He was apparently placed – through cellphone mapping – outside Jayde’s complex in the days before her murder.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)