Panayiotou murder trial: Middleman changes his tune, denies involvement

Luthando Siyoni has refused to answer any questions that could incriminate him.

Christopher Panayiotou and co-accused Sinethemba Nenembe stand in the PE High Court to hear the charges against them. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The alleged middleman in the Jayde Panayiotou murder trial has refused to answer any questions that could incriminate him.

State witness Luthando Siyoni has been testifying against his former boss Christopher Panayiotou and two others in the Port Elizabeth High Court.

But Siyoni has changed his tune since confessing to police, and now denies any involvement.

Siyoni on Wednesday refused to answer any questions pertaining to his police confession, in which he named Panayiotou as the mastermind behind Jayde’s murder.

While on the stand, he simply told the court he would not answer.

Siyoni has denied any involvement in the Port Elizabeth teacher's killing and claims police beat him into making a confession.

He now also says his legal aid lawyer was not present when he made the police statement, claiming Advocate Johan van der Spuy merely signed it off to please the court.

The 36-year-old turned state witness shortly after his arrest in April last year, just days after Jayde was kidnapped and shot dead.

Siyoni now risks losing his immunity against prosecution.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)