PORT ELIZABETH – The girlfriend of a man who allegedly hired hitmen to kidnap and kill Jayde Panayiotou is off the hook, for now.
Babalwa Breakfast was back in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing charges of perjury and defeating the ends of justice. However, the case against her has now been provisionally withdrawn pending the outcome of Christopher Panayiotou’s murder trial.
Christopher Panayiotou and co-accused, Sinethembe Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are charged with the murder of the businessman’s schoolteacher wife, Jayde Panayiotou.
On Friday, Breakfast, represented by defence attorney Ryno Scholtz, was accompanied to court by her boyfriend Luthando Siyoni.
Breakfast was arrested during October last year shortly after she was declared a hostile witness and excused from the stand, where she was testifying in the murder trial. Breakfast was previously seen crying hysterically at the time of her arrest.
Siyoni was employed by Panayiotou as a bouncer at his Infinity nightclub.
The State alleges Panayiotou paid Siyoni to hire hitman Sizwe Vumazonke to kidnap and murder Jayde.
Siyoni, a section 204 witness, was also declared hostile during his time in the dock.
During the Panayiotou murder trial, Breakfast told the court how she stashed money in her old school socks and counted the cash after being told to do so by her boyfriend. She said that Siyoni had informed her the money was for “renovating a gym” he ran in Zwide.
But her testimony contradicted her affidavits. An excerpt from Breakfast’s first statement made to police on April 27, 2015, reads: “According to Thando, Chris wanted him to kill his wife (Chris’s wife) and that he told him that he cannot do that but he can organise people that can do that for him.
“In April, but I am not sure of the date, Thando has again informed me that he has found a guy that he called Sizwe who told him that he would kill the said lady for him. According to Thando the person that would successfully do the job for Chris would be paid an amount of R50,000.”
However, during her testimony she denied the contents of her statements made to police.
Her answers to the prosecution were: “I don’t know this”, “I don’t re-call” or “No, I never said this”.
The State believes that Breakfast was lying under oath and subsequent to her being excused from the stand, she was arrested on perjury charges.
Panayiotou, Nenembe and Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing, and killing Jayde.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The alleged hitman, Sizwe Vumazonke, died in September.
Life orientation teacher, Jayde, 29, was abducted outside her townhouse complex in Kabega Park, while waiting for her lift to Riebeeck High School. She was found shot dead in a veld outside KwaNobuhle township, Uitenhage, on April 22 2015.
The Panayiotou murder trial is expected to resume in the Port Elizabeth High Court on April 19.
African News Agency