Bullet 'perforated Jayde's head' - ballistics expert
Day five of the Panayiotou murder trial was filled with technical evidence – particularly around the exact manner in which Jayde Panayiotou was shot dead.
Captain Gideon Olivier of the SAPS Ballistics unit ended the day's proceedings after describing how he had received a sealed evidence bag containing three 9mm parabellum cartridges and a brown envelope with a piece of cloth cut from the back of a sweater.
After examining the evidence‚ he "found the cartridges were designed to be fired by a centre-fire firearm". "The cloth had two bullet entrance holes‚" Olivier‚ who has 17 years and more than 4 500 cases under the belt‚ said. Olivier said no bullet residue was found‚ meaning the shots were fired at a distance.
Pointing out the crime scene on a projector‚ Olivier said a cartridge was found near Jayde's feet. He returned to the crime scene on April 23.
"While I was scrutinising this specific area‚ I noticed earth was disturbed and a piece of foliage out of the ordinary‚" he said.
Olivier‚ after some excavation‚ found a bullet.
Describing the actual shots‚ Olivier said the fatal shot would have "perforated Jayde's head".
He described two entry wounds to the top half of Jayde’s back‚ one exiting on the left chest area and the other directly under her right armpit. Olivier was also present in the postmortem conducted by forensic pathologist Dr Kevin Fourie.
"Taking my observations and what we found at crime scene‚ I'm of the opinion the first shot went out the chest. The second went through spine‚" he said.
Earlier in the day‚ Christopher Panayiotou's lawyer accused a policeman of being part of a team which assaulted alleged triggerman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke after his arrest.
Constable Thapelo Mabija of the Provincial Tracking Team in Zwelitsha said he arrested Vumazonke‚ 36‚ on May 3 last year.
Advocate Terry Price SC said Mabija "was not telling the truth" and that Vumazonke was taken to a Despatch police station before being booked into Kabega Park shortly before 6am.
He wanted to know what happened to Vumazonke – who has since died – in that four hour period and accused Mabija of being part of a team that assaulted him.
"I'm going to show this court you are lying. You are part of a team that beat him up‚" said Price‚ presenting him with a photograph of Vumazonke with a swollen eye. Mabija said all accused persons accused police of assault.
Panayiotou‚ Sinethemba Nemembe and Zolani Sibeko are accused of Jayde’s murder. They have pleaded not guilty. Testimony continues.
- TMG Digital/HeraldLIVE