Christopher Panayiotou's lawyer Advocate Terry Price File picture: Eugene Coetzee
Christopher Panayiotou’s lawyer Advocate Terry Price
File picture: Eugene Coetzee

His presence is somewhat larger than life. His booming voice can be heard in the corridors of the courthouse before he is seen.

Advocate Terry Price SC has been described as many things.

He is hot-headed, cocky and a bit bullish, but his colleagues and clients will tell you that he has a heart of gold and will go to the ends of the earth to prove someone’s innocence.

He has built a strong relationship with the Panayiotou family, which is evident from his protective stance, particularly over Christopher’s mother.

Price, who obtained his BA LLB from Rhodes University, is able to speak fluently in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.

He has a great memory, able to recall some of his oldest cases at the drop of a hat – a rare talent for someone who has been in the profession since 1985.

While his temper sometimes gets him into trouble, his growing popularity is undeniable.

Price managed to have drug charges dropped against US socialite Paris Hilton when she was bust for allegedly smoking dagga at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium during the 2010 soccer World Cup.

He also represented former Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi when he was accused of rape in July 2013. The charges were later withdrawn.

Price was a junior advocate on the team representing Stellenbosch murder accused Fred van der Vyver, who was tried for the 2005 murder of his girlfriend, Inge Lotz.

While the evidence against him seemed overwhelming, his lawyers managed to turn the tables on the police, accusing them of fabricating evidence.

In 2007, Judge Deon van Zyl acquitted Van der Vyver of Lotz’s murder.

Similarly, Price has already indicated that he will allege in this case that the state’s key witness, middleman Luthando Siyoni, was assaulted and forced to implicate Panayiotou in Jayde’s murder.

If he succeeds, all the evidence which emerged after the alleged assault will be ruled inadmissible.

Price started out as a senior public prosecutor in Middelburg in then-Transvaal in 1985.

He joined the then Attorney-General’s office as a state advocate between 1987 and 1991.

He joined the Bar Council of Advocates in 2006.

A career highlight was when he represented Knysna photographer Alix Carmichele, proving the state liable for failing to keep a dangerous perpetrator behind bars.

Francois Coetzee, accused of attempting to sexually assault another woman, attacked Carmichele while out on bail.

The landmark victory means the state can be held liable for failing to protect its citizens.

In October 2014, Price was awarded silk status.


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