Expensive gifts, weekends away and hotel romps emerged in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday afternoon as the best friend of Christopher Panayiotou’s mistress took the stand.
Clarishka Kapp tried to shield herself from the public gallery, facing Judge Dayalin Chetty head on as she told him how Panayiotou’s relationship with Chanelle Coutts escalated from that of an employer and employee, to the two becoming friends, and later lovers.
She said the three of them would have supper at Jayde and Panayiotou’s Stellen Glen home in Kabega Park some evenings when Jayde was with her family.
Some nights, Coutts even slept over.
Asked by state advocate Marius Stander if she recalled the day Jayde and Panayiotou got engaged, Kapp said Coutts only became upset later, when Panayiotou married Jayde.
“She was very upset because they were in a relationship,” said Kapp.
She said Panayiotou even phoned her that day, joking that she should come and kidnap him.
“He was unsure if he was doing the right thing [marrying Jayde]. He was scared he would lose Chanelle.”
But Panayiotou and Coutts became closer and the businessman spoilt her with expensive gifts such as Polo handbags, jewellery and even a deposit on a new car.
“He would often phone me for suggestions on what to buy for Chanelle.”
To celebrate Coutts’s birthday on September 29 2014, the three of them slept over in George for two nights.
“Chris told me that he loved Chanelle. And she loved him,” said Kapp.
She said Panayiotou sometimes became jealous. He once saw Coutts had been chatting to another man on Facebook and it upset him.
Coutts was upset when Panayiotou bought a house with Jayde in Lovemore Park shortly before her death.
Five days after her kidnapping, on April 21 last year, Kapp deleted all photographs of Panayiotou and Coutts together.
“Chanelle was upset because she had been with the police.”