Trial of alleged wife killer Panayiotou hits a snag


Christopher Panayiotou is on trial for the April 2015 murder of his school teacher wife, Jayde.

Christopher Panayiotou is on trial for the April 2015 murder of his school teacher wife, Jayde.

PORT ELIZABETH – The trial of murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou and two other men hit a snag on Tuesday when the defence indicated it could not proceed due to the unavailability of witnesses.

Panayiotou’s defence has yet to present its case before the Port Elizabeth High Court, but advocate Terry Price indicated that some witnesses were not available and asked Judge Dayalin Chetty to postpone the matter.

Price said four witnesses would be called and he would in all probability wrap up his case early next week.

READ: Panayiotou back in court

It is expected that the defence will call a family friend, Anthony Emmit, Christopher’s cousin Maurizio Bertolani, and the businessman’s mistress, Chanelle Coutts.

The defence is also expected to call its very own cellphone expert.

Price said that accountant, Wilma Van de Bergh, would no longer be called as a defence witness.

In June, the prosecution closed its case against Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, who are charged with murdering school teacher Jayde Panayiotou in April 2015.

State advocate Marius Stander called more than 40 witnesses during the duration of what has been a mammoth trial.

Panayiotou is accused of paying Luthando Siyoni, a bouncer from his Infinity nightclub, to hire Sizwe Vumazonke to kidnap and kill Jayde.

The school teacher was abducted while waiting for a lift to work and subsequently murdered on the outskirts of Kwanobuhle, on the way to Uitenhage.

The state alleges that Nenembe helped Vumazonke to kidnap and murder the teacher at the behest of her husband.

Vumazonke has since died.

Sibeko has been named as the person who was allegedly asked to source a firearm for Jayde’s killing.

The case was postponed until Wednesday, 27 September.