State’s key witness tried to extort money from Panayiotou’s mom – defence

Christopher Panayiotou's mother, Fanoula (centre), took over his business after his arrest Picture: Eugene Coetzee
Christopher Panayiotou’s mother, Fanoula (centre), took over his business after his arrest
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Christopher Panayiotou’s legal team claim they are in possession of a telephone recording where a key state witness threatens the murder accused’s mom.

Advocate Terry Price SC told the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday afternoon that he would play the tape at a later stage.

Former employee at the Panayiotous’ OK Grocer in Algoa Park, Mawonga Ndedwa, had told the court that he decided to quit his job after Panayiotou’s arrest. He said he was fed up of having to deal with his mother, Fanoula Panayiotou.

He said he also decided to give police a cellphone that Panayiotou had earlier instructed him to destroy.

Ndedwa claimed that was his last communication with Fanoula.

But Price, after revealing that Ndedwa was in fact fired for stealing, said he had a recorded conversation of Ndedwa trying to get money out of Fanoula after he left the OK.

Cross-examination continues on Friday.

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