Port Elizabeth – Much loved Riebeek College teacher Jayde Panayitou’s final moments have come to light during the bail application of her husband, Christopher Panayiotou, who stands accused of having organised her murder.
Panayiotou‚ 28‚ faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder‚ kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating the ends of justice. Thando Siyoli‚ 31‚ and Sizwezakhe Vumazonke‚ 30‚ are Panayiotou’s co-accused.
Entering evidence on why Panayiotou should be denied bail, Investigating Officer Lieutenant Rhynhardt “Kanna” Swanepoel, described how, after numerous failed attempts, Jayde’s final day had played out.
Swanepoel told the court how GPS evidence from a vehicle used by suspected hitman Vumazonke showed how he had travelled to the Stellen Glen complex in Kabega Park on numerous occasions in the build-up to the hit on Jayde, to scope out the area.
Stellen Glen Complex in Kabega Park:
Swanepoel said Vumazonke had been instructed to kill Jayde in front of the complex and make it look like a robbery.
He said on the morning of April 21 2015, Vumazonke had again travelled to the Stellen Glen Complex, where Jayde had been waiting outside for her lift to work in Uitenhage from her friend Cherise Swanepoel.
GPS tracking showed that Vumazonke circled the complex before stopping next to Jayde.
Swanepoel’s affidavit says Jayde was then assaulted with blunt force to the head. Vumazonke then placed her in the boot of the rented vehicle and travelled in the direction of KwaNobuhle.
He stopped the vehicle close to the Rooihoogte Road, removed Jayde from the boot and carried her a distance into the veld, where she was shot twice through the back and at close range through the head.
Vumazonke then allegedly phoned Siyoli from this scene to inform him he had “completed the job” and wanted payment.
From there Vumazonke travelled to KwaNobuhle where he withdrew R1 500 from Jayde’s account. He later travelled to Kwazakhele where he attempted to withdraw another amount, but the card was withheld as the incorrect pin number was entered, the report read.
That same day, Siyoli contacted Panayiotou and informed him the “job has been done” and payment was required, the court heard.
That evening, Swanepoel’s affidavit says, Panayiotou travelled into Kwazakhele where he met Siyoli and paid the money over to him. The meeting is confirmed through cellphone mapping of both parties, as well as Siyoli’s girlfriend, who was present at the time.
Panayiotou, in his responding affidavit, said this was not true.
He admitted to meeting Siyoli, but said this was because they had information that money had been withdrawn from Jayde’s account in the area, and he had asked Siyoli to help him search for her there as he was familiar with the area.
Swanepoel’s affidavit goes on to say that Vumazonke met Siyoli later that night to collect his payment, which was caught on CCTV footage from a nearby KFC.
The case resumes on May 26.