State, defence clash over motive for Jayde Panayiotou's murder

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Christopher Panayiotou, who allegedly masterminded the murder of his wife Jayde, will find out today if he's been granted bail.

PORT ELIZABETH – The State and defence in the Christopher Panayiotou bail hearing clashed on Thursday in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court over the apparent motive for his wife Jayde’s murder.

State advocate Marius Stander, who is trying to convince Magistrate Abigail Beaton to keep Panayiotou behind bars, was adamant that the State had a solid motive for the killing of 29-year-old Jayde.

“The bottom line is the State can prove a motive, and they will,” said Stander. 

Panayiotou, 28, is accused of orchestrating the murder of his school teacher wife in April.

Stander and defence advocate Terry Price were at loggerheads in court on Thursday morning.

While Stander wanted the magistrate to deny the accused bail, Price went to town slamming the State and accusing them of “thumb sucking” a motive.

Stander had earlier claimed that the accused was under financial pressure to keep his slain wife and his lover happy. He argued that getting a divorce from Jayde was not an option for Panayiotou because his family would disinherit him.

Stander said he had it in writing, in an affidavit, that the accused was spending too much money and that he was buying a house against his will, which is why he had had Jayde killed.

Price immediately challenged Stander to show the defence team this affidavit, before making a formal application to court for the defence to receive a copy of the affidavit.

Panayiotou was arrested days after Luthando Siyoli, a bouncer at a nightclub owned by Panayiotou, had been arrested.

A third suspect, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke was arrested later.

All three men have been charged with murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and conspiracy to commit murder.