During his bail application in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court, his lawyer Terry Price said the conditions in the holding cells at St Alban’s prison were ”despicable” and were against the Constitution and the Correctional Services Act.

Before the affidavit for his application for bail was read out, the charges Christopher Panayiotou faces were read out to him.

They are:

  • Conspiracy to commit murder;
  • Robbery with aggravated circumstances;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Murder;
  • Defeating the ends of justice.

The State indicated that bail for Panayiotou would be opposed as it considered her death a Schedule 6 offence. In terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, this offence is regarded as extremely serious and it is difficult to get bail.

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Entire family filled courtroom

His advocate Terry Price presented an affidavit to support his client’s bail application, while his family filled an entire bench in the front row to support him.

This included his father Costa, mother Fanoula, and his grandmother.

Panayiotou had already given his passport to his attorney and had instructed his lawyers to give it to the police if they wanted it.

Magistrate Abigail Beaton heard that he runs the OK Grocer in Algoa Park and is responsible for 60 employees.

Bail application postponed

Panayiotou’s hopes of being home for supper on Thursday were dashed when prosecutor Marius Stander said some of the issues that had emerged from the affidavits needed further information and asked that the case be stood down until Wednesday, May 20. Beaton postponed the case until next Wednesday, and Panayiotou would stay at St Albans.

Panayiotou became emotional as he was lead out of court

An emotional Christopher Panayiotou was led out of court after being embraced by his father in the dock. Watch the footage from The Herald below: