Siyoni declared hostile by court

Luthando Siyoni Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
Luthando Siyoni
Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

State witness Luthando Siyoni was declared a hostile witness by the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday morning for refusing to answer questions put to him by state advocate Marius Stander.

Siyoni told Stander he had been willing to answer his questions until he began to discredit him in court.

This means it is likely the National Prosecuting Authority will move for Siyoni’s Section 204 status, indemnifying him from prosecution, to be revoked, and for the alleged middleman to be charged with Uitenhage teacher Jayde Panayiotou’s murder.

Siyoni had on Wednesday told Stander that he would not answer any questions pertaining to the statements made to police at the time of his arrest.

On Thursday morning, he said he had time to think about it and had elected not to answer any questions “from anyone in this court”.

Judge Dayalin Chetty accordingly declared the 36-year-old bouncer a hostile witness.

Siyoni returns to the stand on Friday morning for cross-examination by the defence. Whether or not he will answer their questions is still to be seen.

The state alleges Jayde was kidnapped and murdered on April 21 last year at the behest of her husband, Christopher Panayiotou. Siyoni allegedly helped Panayiotou, 30, to recruit hitmen to carry out the plot.

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