Court hears Jayde Panayiotou was depressed

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Marilyn Woods, principal of Riebeek College Girls' High School in Uitenhage, said her school is still battling to come to terms with the death of 28-year-old teacher Jayde Panayiotou (pictured).

PORT ELIZABETH – The Inggs family doctor, who treated the family for more than 20 years, told the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday that Jayde Panayiotou suffered from depression in the months before her death.

Dr Bruce du Plessis was called as a witness on the second day of the murder trial of Jayde’s husband Christopher Panayiotou and his two co-accused Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko.

The three men are accused of murdering Jayde on April 21 last year.

Du Plessis told the prosecution that he had treated Jayde for depression and first prescribed medication in May 2014.

“She came to see me about an eye problem and mentioned she was feeling down, she was battling to cope with everything,” said Du Plessis.

The doctor said Jayde returned to him again on June 5, 2014 and said she felt a lot better.

READ: Panayiotou’s sister and defence in heated exchange in court

He said he gave her a repeat prescription for a further five months with the intention to wean Jayde off by December.

But on April 16 last year Jayde returned to see him, asking ask for the same medication, according to his evidence.

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

Jayde was kidnapped on April 21 outside the couple's complex Stellen Glen in Kabega Park, while she was waiting for a lift to work.

The State alleges that Nenembe assisted Vumazonke to kidnap and murder the school teacher at the behest of her husband.

Siyoni has since turned State witness and Vumazonke has died.

Sibeko was the last suspect to be arrested, 15 months after the murder, and has apparently been linked through cellphone mapping to being outside Jayde’s complex in the days before her murder.

However, his exact role is still unclear.