There were more than a dozen calls between murder accused Christopher Panayiotou and his bank business manager on the day Panayiotou’s wife, Jayde Panayiotou, disappeared.
Estelle Burger, business manager at Nedbank, told the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday afternoon how she was concerned following Jayde’s disappearance.
The court heard how there were 14 phone calls between the two – eight from Panayiotou to Burger and six from her to him.
Panayiotou’s lawyer advocate Terry Price SC said the first call was at 8.22am on April 21 and lasted about 14 minutes.
“You repeatedly called him back that day. What were you telling him in all these calls? Price asked.
Burger said she wanted to know if Jayde had been found.
Price said one of the ways to trace Jayde was to find out if money was being withdrawn from her account.
“You will appreciate this day was different. Jayde was missing and money was being drawn from her accounts,” he said.
“Chris will tell this court if he testifies he was trying to persuade you to give that info so he could find Jayde. As a banker you will appreciate one needs to follow the trail, follow the money.
“Eventually when he got through to you how important it was you gave him the info to go ahead.”
But Burger said she did not have access to the system “in order to convey that info to the client”.
“I would have had to contact head office,” she said.
Price hit back saying she was denying this in order to avoid getting into trouble.
Earlier in the day, the court heard how a faulty camera at a Nedbank ATM in KwaNobuhle sent police on the wrong track in their search for the murdered school teacher.
Streicher Botha, an investigator with Protea Coin, which is contracted to Nedbank, told the court that Warrant Officer Leon Eksteen contacted him on the morning of April 21 last year, to ask for his help in tracking down the missing wife of his friend.