The trial involving murder accused Christopher Panayiotou and his two co-accused hit a snag on Tuesday when the defence indicated they could not proceed due to the unavailability of witnesses
Panayiotou’s defence has yet to present its case before the Port Elizabeth High Court, but advocate Terry Price indicated that some witnesses were not available and asked Judge Dayalin Chetty to postpone the matter.
Price said four witnesses would be called and he would in all probability wrap up his case early next week.
It is expected that the defence will call a family friend, Anthony Emmit, Christopher’s cousin, Maurizio Bertolani, and the businessman’s mistress, Chanelle Coutts.
The defence is also expected to call its very own cellular phone expert.
Price said that accountant, Wilma Van de Bergh, would no longer be called as a defence witness.
Earlier in June, the prosecution closed its case against Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko, who are charged with murdering schoolteacher Jayde Panayiotou, during April 2015.
Over 40 witnesses
State Advocate Marius Stander called over 40 witnesses during the duration of what has been a mammoth trial.
Panayiotou is accused of paying Luthando Siyoni, a bouncer from his Infinity nightclub, to hire Sizwe Vumazonke to kidnap and kill Jayde.
The schoolteacher was abducted while waiting for a lift to work and subsequently murdered on the outskirts of Kwanobuhle, on the way to Uitenhage.
The State alleges that Nenembe assisted Vumazonke to kidnap and murder the teacher at the behest of her husband.
Vumazonke has since died.
Sibeko has been named as the person who was allegedly asked to source a firearm for Jayde’s killing.
The case was postponed until 27 September.