National prosecuting Authority spokesman Tsepo Ndwalaza on Tuesday confirmed by phone that prosecutor Advocate Marius Stander and Panayiotou’s legal counsel — Alwyn Griebenow and Advocate Terry Price SC — held a meeting in chambers with Magistrate Abigail Beeton.
“I was informed of the meeting. There is a bid to get bail. They [Panayiotou’s legal team] want to see the docket. I don’t know more than that. I know that they will be meeting again on Friday.”
Ndwalaza said that there would not be any court appearance on Friday, but simply a meeting between the prosecution and the defence counsel. He said he could not provide any further details on the planned meeting.
Should Panayiotou’s team decide to seek bail, it would be their second application to the Grahamstown High Court to overturn Beeton’s ruling.
His appeal for bail was dismissed by the Grahamstown High Court in July. He was initially denied bail on June 5, with Beeton ruling that Panayiotou could be a flight risk and that there was a chance he could interfere with state witnesses.
The body of his wife, a 29-year-old school teacher, was found on the outskirts of KwaNobuhle township in Uitenhage in April, a day after she disappeared. She was assaulted, thrown in the boot of a car and shot twice in the back and once in the head.
Along with Sizwe Prince Vumazonke, the triggerman that he is alleged to have hired, Panayiotou faces charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
A fourth man, who was already in custody, was linked to the case and appeared in court at the end of last month. Sinethemba Nenembe was facing murder and robbery charges in connection with the murder of 72-year old Denise Webber.
In August, the National Prosecuting Authority withdrew all charges against another accused, Luthando Siyoni, as he had become a 204 State witness.
According to the State, Panayiotou was drowning in debt owed on his luxury car and properties. He owed R2.2 million for a Lovemore Heights property – reportedly bought for Jayde – and more than R500,000 on his Stellen Glen Home.