Siyoni refuses to answer any questions

Luthando Siyoni is testifying in the Panayiotou murder trial Picture: Eugene Coetzee
Luthando Siyoni is testifying in the Panayiotou murder trial
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

There are many sides to Section 204 witness Luthando Siyoni, as the prosecution quickly discovered, with the alleged middleman changing direction for the third time yesterday.

Initially accused of being the go-between for murder accused Christopher Panayiotou, 30, and the alleged hitmen, Siyoni, 36, went from state witness, to only becoming aware of the murder after the fact, to refusing to answer any questions put to him by the state for fear of implicating himself.

As state advocate Marius Stander attempted to sift through Siyoni’s Section 204 statement in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday, the headstrong bouncer leaned back in the witness box, clicked his neck from side to side and said after each line put to him: “I am not going to answer to lies.”

At one stage he laughed, then said: “Mr Stander, did you hear me when I said I am not going to answer anything to do with the statement?”

In the statement taken down by investigating officer Captain Kanna Swanepoel shortly after his arrest on April 27 last year, Siyoni said that towards the end of 2014, Panayiotou – his boss at the time – approached him about arranging men to carry out a hit.

Siyoni told Swanepoel he had approached several people before Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, 36, eventually agreed to do the job.

As Stander put each line to Siyoni, Siyoni said he was not prepared to comment on the statement.

The job of a Section 204 witness, in exchange for immunity from prosecution, is to incriminate himself. His testimony must also be honest and frank.

But when Siyoni took the stand on Friday, he denied being involved in the orchestration of Jayde’s murder.

Then, on Monday, he shocked the court when he said Vumazonke – who has since died – told him afterwards that he had been approached by Panayiotou to kill her.

He also claimed Panayiotou gave him money to pay the “triggerman”.

He claimed he was assaulted by the police and forced to implicate himself.

On Tuesday, he advised Stander to revoke his Section 204 status.

Yesterday, Siyoni refused to answer any questions.

He returns to the stand today.

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