It has been over two years since the murder of Jayde Panayiotou, but her killer has finally been brought to justice. Her husband, Port Elizabeth businessman Christopher Panayiotou, has been found guilty of planning her murder, using several hired men to carry out the act, who have also all been found guilty by Judge Dayalin Chetty in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday 2 November. Sentencing will take place on 17 November.
In April 2015, Jayde’s body was found in a field in Uitenhage. She was kidnapped by three men while she was awaiting a friend to pick her up for work. She was shot three times. The men responsible are Zolani Sibeko, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nemembe, along with middleman Luthando Siyoni. Luthando turned State witness, and Sizwezakhe passed away before the trial.
According to EWN, the court was packed with family members, supporters and members of the media. A group of women also arrived at the Port Elizabeth High Court to show their support and to demand justice for Jayde. It was an emotionally charged day, with Jayde’s sister crying as the final verdict was read out. The sentencing will happen 17 November 2017 at the Port Elizabeth High Court.
Since the verdict has been read out, Twitter has been abuzz, with many people showing their support and sending their condolences for Jayde.
— Raahil Sain (@RaahilSain) 2 November 2017
— Laura’s World (@LaurasWorldza) 2 November 2017
I hope that the sentencing is as harsh as it gets. Jayde will never get the chance fulfill the many things I’m sure she wished 2💔#Panayiotou
— Maduvha Mphaphuli (@MaduvhaM) 2 November 2017
The murder of Jayde Panayiotou is heartbreaking. What’s worse? SA has the highest rate of intimate femicide in the world. #panayiotoutrial
— Faiza Mallick (@Faiza_Mallick) 15 June 2017
In the aftermath of #menaretrash and #metoo, public attention is currently focused on femicide and gender-based violence. Convicting a murderer in a femicide case is one small, positive step in the right direction.