Luthando Siyoni
Luthando Siyoni

Who is Luthando Siyoni:

• The 31-year-old was a bouncer at Christopher Panayiotou’s Infinity Cocktail Bar in Algoa Park.
• He also worked at Chief Ngqoko’s in New Brighton and Eyethu Sports Bar in Zwide.
• He was in the process of establishing his own gym in Zwide at the time of his arrest and was said to be struggling financially.

The case so far:

• Siyoni was arrested on April 27 last year, a week after Jayde Panayiotou’s murder.
• He then supplied detectives with an alleged step-by-step version of events which turned their focus on Panayiotou.
• Siyoni was used in an undercover sting for the police to gather enough evidence to arrest Panayiotou.
• In August last year, the state formally withdrew the charges against Siyoni and announced that he was a Section 204 witness.
• Siyoni was placed in protective custody pending his testimony at trial.
• He has since hired attorney Zolile Ngqeza to represent his interests.

What the prosecution alleges:

• Shortly after employing Siyoni, Panayiotou inquired from him whether he could have a person killed on his behalf.
• Siyoni spent months trying to track down hitmen and eventually settled on Sizwezakhe Vumazonke.
• On December 2 2014, Siyoni took Vumazonke to the Kabega Park complex where the Panayiotou couple lived.
• On April 7 last year, Panayiotou gave cash to Siyoni to prepare for the hit. Siyoni then gave the money to Vumazonke, who used it to hire a vehicle.
• Siyoni accompanied Vumazonke to Riebeek College in Uitenhage, where Jayde worked, to familiarise themselves with her routine.
• On April 21, Panayiotou paid Siyoni the outstanding money promised.
The evidence against him:
• In addition to a confession, Siyoni has provided two affidavits attesting to his role in the murder.
• After trial, a court must find that Siyoni was open and truthful in his testimony for him to be exempted from prosecution. If it is found that he was not truthful in his testimony, Siyoni may have to stand trial for murder.

The defence’s version:

• While Siyoni said he had willingly made a confession to the police, Panayiotou’s lawyers are adamant he was tortured into implicating him.

Leave a Reply