State closes case in Panayiotou trial-within-a-trial

Captain Kanna Swanepoel and state advocate Marius Stander
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

State advocate Marius Stander closed his case in the trial-within-a-trial on Wednesday afternoon, allowing the defence to call their first witness.

Anne Swanepoel, who represented now deceased suspected hitman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke before she was struck from the roll of attorneys, testified that Vumazonke told her he was assaulted by the police.

Swanepoel said when she visited Vumazonke in the cells shortly after his arrest in May 2015, his eye was swollen shut and he could barely talk due to an injury to his jaw.

However, Vumazonke told her that he was assaulted at the Humewood police station and not at his place of arrest some 30km away, as put to the court by the defence.

Swanepoel’s testimony was heard in the Port Elizabeth High Court, where the defence is testing the admissibility of a sting recording in which Christopher Panayiotou allegedly implicated himself in his wife, Jayde’s murder.

Advocate Terry Price SC will call his next witness on Thursday morning.

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