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Sun May 29 23:10:58 CAT 2016

Bail bid for Jayde murder accused

Kathryn Kimberley | 12 January, 2016 06:38

One of the men accused of murdering school teacher Jayde Panayiotou will apply for bail as soon as his sentence for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition concludes this week.

A lawyer for suspected hitman Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, 30, said they were likely to bring a bail application after Thursday.

Vumazonke appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court yesterday alongside Jayde's husband, Christopher Panayiotou, 29, and Sinethemba Nenemba, 30.

While Panayiotou is accused of orchestrating the murder in April, Vumazonke and Nenemba are accused of carrying out the kidnapping and murder. They all pleaded not guilty to the murder.

Vumazonke was on parole at the time of the murder.

Following his arrest in May, Vumazonke's parole was revoked and he has been serving his sentence, which comes to an end on Thursday.

Lawyer Michelle Blignaut said they would then explore a bail application.

In another surprising twist yesterday, state advocate Marius Stander said the matter could go to trial in the Port Elizabeth High Court as soon as July.

Stander said the Department of Homeland Security in the US had received their request for legal assistance in retrieving the cellphone data Panayiotou allegedly had wiped from his phone, as well as the phone of his mistress Chanelle Coutts, shortly after 29-year-old Jayde's murder.

The case was postponed to March 11 for further investigation.


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