Alleged middleman Luthando Siyoni’s girlfriend was the first one to cave in during questioning – telling a policeman everything she knew about Uitenhage schoolteacher Jayde Panayiotou’s murder.
Siyoni and his girlfriend, Babalwa Breakfast, had been placed in separate rooms after being taken in for questioning days after Jayde’s murder.
The revelation about Breakfast’s capitulation is contained in an affidavit by the policeman behind the arrest of Siyoni.
Captain Willie Mayi also reveals in the affidavit that a police informant had initially tipped him off about a businessman who had allegedly orchestrated the murder of his wife.
After being given the names of Siyoni and Breakfast, Mayi took them in for questioning.
He said Breakfast spilt the beans on her boyfriend, giving him enough ammunition to arrest Siyoni.
Mayi’s affidavit, of which The Herald has a copy, will form part of the state’s case against Jayde’s husband, Christopher, 30, when it goes to trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court in October.
Panayiotou is accused of paying employee Siyoni to hire hitmen Sizwezakhe “Sizwe” Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nemembe to kidnap and murder Jayde in April last year.
The affidavit was handed to the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court by Panayiotou’s lawyers on Friday as part of his bail application on new facts.
His lawyers, who hope to have Siyoni’s confession thrown out at trial, want to show magistrate Abigail Beeton that the state case is weak without his evidence.
Mayi, who is attached to the police hijacking task team, said he was on duty on April 27 last year, six days after Jayde’s abduction from outside her Kabega Park home.
“At about 4pm, I received a call from a source who urgently wanted to see me regarding information he had about the people who arranged and killed the deceased [Jayde] in this case,” Mayi said.
“I quickly drove through to Port Elizabeth to meet the source.”
At the meeting, the source gave him Siyoni’s name and the address, Kulati Street in Kwazakhele, and said Siyoni had a girlfriend called Babalwa.
According to the affidavit, the informant told Mayi that Siyoni had been approached by his employer, known to him as Chris, to organise people to kill his wife.
He said the murder plan went as far back as November 2014.
“The source informed me [that] the person [who] actually did the shooting was not known to him, but was with a guy called Sizwe,” Mayi said.
He said he had first looked for Siyoni at his Kwazakhele gym, but he was not there. He then went to Siyoni’s house and found Breakfast there.
“I introduced myself to Breakfast and informed her that I wanted to take her to the office for questioning pertaining to information she had,” Mayi said.
They then went together to Panayiotou’s Algoa Park night club, where Siyoni worked as a bouncer.
Mayi said he introduced himself to Siyoni and asked him to accompany him to the KwaNobuhle detectives’ office.
“On arrival there, I explained everything on this case to both Siyoni and Breakfast,” he said.
“I [then] took Breakfast to another office where I interviewed her and obtained a full statement.
“I then went to Siyoni and formally informed him that I was arresting him for the murder of the deceased [Jayde].
“After that, I informed him of his constitutional rights, including the consequences of making a statement.” Mayi said Siyoni had immediately confessed. Defence advocate Terry Price SC argued on Friday that the contents of Mayi’s statement was just one of the ways in which investigating officer Lieutenant Kanna Swanepoel had misled Beeton in the initial bail application last year.
“Swanepoel’s claim in his affidavit that Siyoni immediately on being questioned implicated himself and [Panayiotou] is contradicted by the fact that Siyoni was in the custody of Mayi for up to four hours when Mayi arrested him on the basis of what Breakfast told him,” Price said.
He said there was not a single document to show that Siyoni had been read his constitutional rights.
Beeton is expected to give her ruling on June 24 on whether or not the defence managed to present sufficient new facts.
Source: Times Live