Panayiotou Trial: How the state sees events

State Advocate Marius Stander going through his notes prior to the start of the Jayde trial Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
State Advocate Marius Stander going through his notes prior to the start of the Jayde trial

A man named “Happy Trigger” was one of the people approached to murder Jayde Panayiotou, the prosecution claims.

It was only later that Luthando Siyoni managed to broker a deal with Sizwezakhe Vumazonke.

Prosecutor Marius Stander says the life-changing conversation between the men took place on Facebook messenger.

He said he would also show through cellphone plotting and billing how the hit was carried out.

This is how the alleged plan unfolded, according to the state:

  • On December 2 2014, Siyoni met Vumazonke and took him to the Stellen Glen complex in Kabega Park where Christopher and Jayde Panayiotou lived.
  • They lost contact, but touched base again on Facebook on January 23 last year, when Vumazonke was on bail in an unrelated robbery case.
  • Vumazonke did not want to do the job and Siyoni approached a man known only as “Happy Trigger”.
  • Then, on April 1, Siyoni finally convince Vumazonke to do the job.
  • Panayiotou bought a second SIM card, used only to contact Siyoni and his mistress, Chanelle Coutts. After Jayde’s murder, the SIM card was never used again.
  • It was agreed that Vumazonke would be paid R80 000 to kill Jayde.
  • On April 4, Vumazonke asked Sinethemba Nemembe to assist. They agreed the hit would be the next day at the Infinity Cocktail Lounge.
  • The plan was abandoned when Jayde indicated she did not want to visit her husband’s bar.
  • Panayiotou then suggested another way to kill Jayde was to wait for her and her colleague, Cherise Swanepoel, at Swanepoel’s Newton Park house, and follow them to Riebeek College in Uitenhage, where they taught. They shared a lift club.
  • Panayiotou furnished Siyoni with the details of Jayde and Swanepoel’s vehicles.
  • Vumazonke needed a vehicle and Panayiotou managed to was asked to contribute towards renting one.
  • On April 7, Panayiotou went to Siyoni’s home and gave him money to rent a car.
  • On April 9, Vumazonke rented a car, which was fitted with a standardised tracker device.
  • On the evening of April 12, Siyoni and Vumazonke travelled to Swanepoel’s house.
  • On April 14, they went again to the Stellen Glen complex and then to Riebeek College. Shortly before arriving at the school, Siyoni phoned Panayiotou to confirm the details.
  • On April 15, Vumazonke fetched Nemembe and Zolani Sibeko and drove to the Stellen Glen complex. They circled it looking for Jayde. They were unsuccessful and returned the following day, but were once again unable to locate Jayde.
  • On the morning of April 21, Vumazonke collected Nemembe from his home. They arrived at the complex shortly after 6am and Vumazonke waited on foot while Nemembe circled the area in the rented car. As Jayde left the complex, Vumazonke phoned Nemembe, who sped back.
  • Jayde’s cellphone was immediately taken from her and the SIM card removed.
  • A message sent by Swanepoel to Jayde after 6.27am was never delivered.
  • The men drove to a secluded area close to the Rooihoogte Road in KwaNobuhle, where the vehicle stopped. Here, Jayde was forced to reveal her bank pin numbers before she was shot dead.
  • Later that day, Vumazonke and Nemembe withdrew R1 500 from her account. Further amounts of R1 500 and R500 were withdrawn before the card was swallowed by the ATM.
  • During the course of the day, a series of telephone calls were made and SMSes sent by Vumazonke to Siyoni, requesting payment.
  • Siyoni went to OK Grocer and Infinity looking for Panayiotou, who was not there. Siyoni then informed Vumazonke that the money was locked away in a safe and Panayiotou could not access it because he had family around him.
  • Shortly before midnight, Panayiotou went to Infinity to collect the cash. He then met Siyoni to pay the money.


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