Weeks of drama ahead in Jayde Panayiotou murder case

Jayde Panayiotou Picture: Supplied
Jayde Panayiotou
Picture: Supplied

All eyes are on the Port Elizabeth High Court today for the start of the highly anticipated trial of the Jayde Panayiotou murder suspects.

The murder of the Uitenhage teacher and subsequent investigation has gripped the country for the past 18 months.

Jayde, 29, was kidnapped from outside her Port Elizabeth home on April 21 last year while waiting for a friend to give her a lift.

Her husband, Christopher, was still asleep inside their Kabega Park townhouse, none the wiser, according to him, when at least two men shoved Jayde into the boot of a car and drove her to KwaNobuhle, outside Uitenhage, where she was executed.

Today, the matter comes to a head in the high court as Christopher stands trial.

The state claims he paid employee Luthando Siyoni to recruit hitmen to carry out the kidnapping and murder.

Panayiotou is accused alongside Sinethemba Nemembe and Zolani Sibeko.

Another accused, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, has since died of a mystery illness.

While the state will set out to prove how these men conspired to carry out the hit, the defence is adamant it will be able to show that Siyoni was assaulted and forced to implicate Panayiotou.

It will rely on the concept of “the fruit of a poisoned tree”, arguing that all evidence following Siyoni’s alleged assault should be deemed inadmissible.

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