JAYDE Panayiotou’s fight to stay alive, her husband’s affair and a family’s anguish emerged in the Port Elizabeth High Court in the first week of an eight-week-long murder trial. Senior court reporter KATHRYN KIMBERLEY looks at some of the biggest moments
From the prosecution:
- Alleged triggerman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke was approached to kidnap and kill Jayde, 29, after failed negotiations with a man known only as “Happy Trigger”.
- The alleged mastermind, Jayde’s husband Christopher Panayiotou, 30, bought a second SIM card, used only to contact middleman Luthando Siyoni and Panayiotou’s mistress, Chanelle Coutts. After Jayde’s murder, the SIM card was never used again.
- Blunt-force injury to the back of Jayde’s head was consistent with the state’s theory that she was pistol-whipped before being bundled into the boot of the kidnap car.
- A bullet to Jayde’s back paralysed her before her killer stood over her and fired the final, fatal shot.
- She put out an arm in an attempt to shield herself from the bullet, a move corresponding with the gunpowder residue found on her hand.
- Rachel Windvogel, a resident on a farm near KwaNobuhle, where Jayde was killed, said she had heard three gunshots before 7am on April 21 last year.
- Jayde’s close friend and colleague, Cherise Swanepoel, was the last to communicate with Jayde before her disappearance.
- When she was unable to trace her friend, she and Panayiotou drove around looking for her.
- Police began investigating Vumazonke when he visited a sangoma directly after the murder, allegedly still carrying Jayde’s bag.
- When Jayde was away, her husband’s mistress allegedly slept over at the couple’s Kabega Park home.
- He bought Coutts expensive gifts and treated her to a weekend away for her birthday.
- Five days after Jayde’s disappearance, Coutts’s best friend, Clarishka Kapp, deleted evidence of the affair from her phone, including a photograph of the couple in bed together.
- Jayde confided in her sister, Toni Inggs, about her unhappiness and loneliness in her marriage.
- Physician Dr Bruce du Plessis treated Jayde for depression shortly before her death.
From the defence
- Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nemembe, 28, and Zolani Sibeko, 35, pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, robbery, illegal possession of a firearm and murder.
- Nemembe and Sibeko opted not to give plea explanations.
- Advocate Terry Price SC complained that Toni Inggs treated him and the Panayiotou family badly, apparently even calling him a “pig” on social media.
- He accused Toni of misleading the court with regard to Jayde and Panayiotou’s relationship.
- Price presented Instagram photographs of a seemingly in-love husband and wife.
- In a lengthy plea statement Panayiotou accused the police of using unlawful and unconstitutional tactics to try to build a case against him.
- He said he would call for a trial-within-a-trial determining all evidence after Siyoni’s “unlawful” arrest inadmissible.
- Panayiotou said he had loved his wife and bought a luxury home in Lovemore Park with the hopes that they would live happily together for the rest of their lives.
- He claimed to be in possession of a taped conversation in which police bullied Siyoni to implicate him, or face 25 years in prison.