Credibility of key witness in Panayiotou case under attack
Ndedwa testified on the eighth day of the murder trial against Panayiotou and his two co-accused, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
The men are accused of kidnapping and killing Panayio- tou’s wife Jayde in April last year.
Ndedwa alleges Panayiotou used his cellphone to call Siyoni, who was a bouncer at Panayiotou’s Infinity nightclub.
Advocate Terry Price said there were 27 calls made between Ndedwa and Siyoni’s cellphone numbers, two weeks before Jayde’s disappearance. Ndedwa denied ever calling Siyoni and told the court he would only speak to Siyoni when he saw him at Panayiotou’s nightclub.
But Price suggested he was downplaying the relationship and the pair would often “enjoy brandy specials” at the club.
Ndedwa denied this, saying he went to the nightclub for his “own business” and not to talk to Siyoni.
The State alleges Panayiotou paid Siyoni, a bouncer from Infinity nightclub, to hire hitman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke to kidnap and kill his school- teacher wife.
The State also alleges Nenembe assisted Vumazonke to kidnap and murder Jayde at the behest of her husband.
Vumazonke has since died in custody at St Alban’s Prison.
After Jayde was driven to a remote area near Kwanobuhle, where the alleged murder was committed, the State alleges Vumazonke fired two shots through Jayde’s back and a final shot through her head.
Sibeko was the last person to be arrested, 15 months after the murder. He has apparently been linked to the crime through cellphone mapping, which allegedly shows him out- side Jayde’s Stellen Glen complex shortly before her murder.
Panayiotou, Nenembe and Sibeko face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder, kidnapping, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Panayiotou also faces an additional charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
The trial continues on Monday. – ANA