The affidavit by police investigator, Rhynhardt ‘Kanna’ Swanepoel, has provided a glimpse into the last moments of Port Elizabeth teacher, Jayde Panayiotou and the reason he says her husband Christopher, had her killed.
Swanepoel’s statement, one of five affidavits submitted by the state in opposition to Panayiotou’s bail application, was read out in court on Thursday by state advocate Marius Stander.
Swanepoel said that the 28-year-old Christopher had been involved in an “extra-marital sexual” relationship with an employee at his OK Foods Store for the past three years, two years of which he had been married to Jayde.
He said they met in several places, including Panayiotou’s house when his wife Jayde was at a farm with her family. Swanepoel said Panayioutou’s father, Costa, had found out and warned him to stop or he would be “disinherited” He also said that the mistress, Charnelle Coutts, was not happy with his marriage to Jayde.
Swanepoel said it was sometime in 2014 that Panayiotou had approached accused No.1, Thando Siyoni, a bouncer at his Algoa Park club Infiniti, to get a “hitman”. At that stage Siyoni was not aware who the target was but later it became clear it was 28-year-old Jayde.
He said they had agreed to a fee of R70 000. Siyoni would receive R30 000 and the hitman, later identified as accused No.3, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, would receive the balance.
Swanepoel said a plan of action to kill Jayde was put into place, adding that there were two occassions where the plan had to be aborted, one when the weather was bad.
He told the court that information from a tracking device on a car hired by Vumazonke and cellphone mapping had helped to track his movements.
Dealing with the day of the murder on 21 April 2015, Swanepoel said that Vumazonke had assaulted Panayiotou “with blunt force to the head” while she waited outside her Stellen Glen Complex for her regular lift to Riebeek Girls College in Uitenhage, where she was a teacher.
He said “accused No.3” placed her in the boot of the hired car and drove to an area near Kwanobule in Uitenhage where he shot her twice in the back and once in the head.
Swanepoel said payment was later made to Siyoni and Vumazonke.
In dealing with the alleged motive, Swanepoel said it was “simple”. He said Christopher Panayiotou was in “financial” difficulty and struggling to keep his wife and mistress happy.
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