Middleman in Panayiotou murder to apply for bail next week


PORT ELIZABETH, May 18 – The self-confessed middleman, who helped arrange the murder of Port Elizabeth school teacher Jayde Panayiotou on behalf of her husband Christopher, was back in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday where his case was once again postponed.

The case was postponed until May 22 when his formal bail application is expected to be heard.

Luthando Siyoni was arrested earlier this month after more than six months on the run.

He is facing a charge of murder after his immunity from prosecution was revoked.

Siyoni, who had worked for businessman Christopher Panayiotou, confessed to his role in sourcing a hitman and implicated Panayiotou as the one behind the plan to have his wife murdered.

But Siyoni, who was meant to be the prosecution’s star witness, recanted his statements made to police and refused to answer any of State Advocate Marius Stander’s questions during a trial-within-a-trial at the murder trial

In an undercover police sting operation video, Panayiotou is seen and heard talking to Siyoni about the hit on Jayde’s life.

The court found that the video laid bare Panayiotou’s complicity in his wife’s murder.

Siyoni’s conduct was criticised by Judge Dayalin Chetty who, in his judgment, called his testimony “a cocktail of lies, perjury and contrivances” designed to advance Panayiotou’s defense.

Panayiotou and Sinethemba Nenembe were found guilty of Jayde’s murder, while Zolani Sibeko was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder.

Jayde Panayiotou went missing on April 21, 2015. She was abducted outside her Stellen Glen Complex in Kabega Park while waiting for her lift and subsequently murdered on the outskirts of KwaNobuhle.

Panayiotou is serving a life sentence for his wife’s murder and subsequently had an application for leave to appeal his conviction dismissed this week.

– African News Agency (ANA)