Panayiotou: state to call final witness

Captain Kanna Swanepoel and state advocate Marius Stander
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

The state is expected to close its case early next week as the prosecution’s final witness in the sensational Panayiotou murder trial takes the stand.

Yesterday, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Samir September confirmed in the Port Elizabeth High Court that the cellphone number which suspected hitman Sinethemba Nemembe allegedly used at the time of the murder was the same as the number he had listed on the university’s data base.

The same number was used by data investigating analyst Thereza Botha, who believes Nemembe’s handset was at the scene of Jayde Panayiotou’s kidnapping and murder on April 21 2015.

Nemembe was a student at NMMU at the time.

On Monday, investigating officer Captain Kanna Swanepoel is expected to testify as the state’s last witness before the defence has a chance to present its case.

Swanepoel testified earlier in the trial-withina-trial called to test the admissibility of a sting video in which businessman Christopher Panayiotou, 30, allegedly implicated himself in his wife’s murder.

At the time, Swanepoel was barred from discussing the secret conversation between Panayiotou and self-confessed “middleman” Luthando Siyoni.

Counsel yesterday again viewed the recording, this time off the SD card on which the conversation between the two men was originally taped through a hidden camera system installed in an undercover policeman’s vehicle.

Panayiotou is accused of orchestrating 29-year-old Jayde’s murder by paying Siyoni to recruit hitmen.

He pleaded not guilty.

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