Behind Jayde's husband's pricy love life

24 May 2015 - 02:01 By NASHIRA DAVIDS


Christopher Panayiotou plied his mistress with gifts, including a pet lizard, watches and hair products, but this week he was painted as a man with major money problems. The Port Elizabeth businessman, who is charged with having his wife, Jayde, murdered, has been having an affair with one of his employees, Chanelle Coutts, for three years.The illicit romance started a year before he married Jayde, whom he dated for nine years before they tied the knot.In his affidavit to the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court, investigating officer Lieutenant Rhynhardt Swanepoel said Panayiotou bought Coutts "numerous gifts, they met secretly at hotels, restaurants and even at [his house] when [Jayde] was with her parents".Panayiotou, 28, faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and robbery with aggravating circumstances. He allegedly conspired with his co-accused, Luthando Siyoli, 31, and Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, 30, to murder Jayde, 29, who was abducted from outside her home on April 21. Her body was discovered in a field the following day.This week, Panayiotou confirmed he had a sexual relationship with Coutts, but said it had not affected his marriage.Coutts was not the only one to benefit from Panayiotou's flamboyance.mini_story_image_vleft1Swanepoel said Coutts was a jealous lover who was opposed to his marriage.Often, Coutts's tirades became so bad that Panayiotou bribed her best friend, Clarishka Kapp, with "expensive gifts" to help with "smoothing the secret love affair over", said Swanepoel.The businessman coughed up even though, the officer said, he was struggling financially.Swanepoel said investigations had revealed that Panayiotou said his wife was spending too much money and he felt he was being forced into buying a house against his will."[Jayde] and [Panayiotou], however, proceeded in buying a house to the value of R2.2-million in Lovemore Estate, Port Elizabeth. [Jayde's] parents agreed to assist them with an amount of R250, 000," the policeman said."I have been informed that the monthly bond repayment on that amount would be R20, 000. [Panayiotou] only earns a salary of R30,000 per month," said Swanepoel."It appears [Panayiotou] only has debt."He said the couple's home in Kabega Park had a bond of R583, 000, even though homes in the complex generally sold for about R500, 000. Panayiotou also owed R200, 000 on his car.A source close to Panayiotou said this week that he showered Coutts with jewellery including "a watch from Texas" and a GHD hair-straightening iron. Coutts's lawyer, Danie Gouws, would not comment on the allegations about the relationship, or the gifts.story_article_right1"What I do know is it seems he bought my client a birthday present because she worked at OK as a manager and it was a pet. It was a reptile, but that was years back."Gouws said Coutts was on medication for stress, and isolated from her friends. He said her safety had been brought into question because of a deluge of death threats.As the sordid details emerged in court this week during Panayiotou's bail application, Coutts has been at home after suffering a mental breakdown.She was prescribed medication on Friday and was "booked off from work" until June 5 by her doctor.Coutts was questioned after Jayde's body was found - but before Panayiotou was arrested. Swanepoel said Coutts and Kapp were "very important witnesses against" the businessman.She gave a statement, but Gouws is questioning its admissibility and the "climate" in which it was taken."Her constitutional rights were violated at that stage. She was under pressure there, she was interrogated," said Gouws.davidsn@sundaytimes.co.za

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day, Financial Mail or Rand Daily Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.