Oom Danie – court artist

Ex-cop records Jayde case in cartoons

SITTING in the court gallery day in and day out listening eagerly to the bail proceedings of murder accused Christopher Panayiotou is “Oom Danie”, who considers himself to be quite the satirical cartoonist.

But what makes the 70year-old stand out is that he documents the testimony by way of cartoons.

He translates proceedings into comical conversations among birds, worms or ducks.

He says Panayiotou, 30, is innocent – and does not beat around the bush with his theories of set-ups and shoddy police work.

Danie Jonck, of Uitenhage, said he had retired from the SA Police Service in the 1980s, with his last stint being in the forensics unit.

He claims to have a photographic memory and is in possession of documents that he says will ultimately prove the businessman’s innocence.

Panayiotou is accused of ordering a hit on his wife, Jayde, 29, in April last year.

At the centre of Jonck’s cartoon is Warrant Officer Leon Eksteen, a Panayiotou family friend and policeman who was part of the initial investigating team.

Evidence was led by the defence in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday that Eksteen encouraged Panayiotou to talk to Siyoni in a way that he would be able to extract information from him.

It is the recording of that conversation that is now pivotal to the state’s case.

In it, Panayiotou allegedly says: “I told you to let them do it outside the house and take the bags and the rings and then they didn’t take the watch or anything . . . so it looks like a hit now.”

The cartoon starts off with one bird telling another that Panayiotou was set up by a family friend.

“Did you know they have proof Christopher was framed by you know who?”

The smaller bird replies: “Yes, I know it was a set-up by a family friend.”

The cartoon then shows what is presumed to be state advocate Marius Stander.

He says to investigating officer Lieutenant Kanna Swanepoel: “Hi Swannie. We are running out of time, I need some evidence to prosecute.”

Swanepoel, who has a devil sitting behind him, responds: “I pray for a [miracle]. Please give me something I can use against Christopher. I have nothing.”

Both Stander and Swanepoel were shown the cartoon and laughed it off.

Asked if he was a family friend of the Panayiotous, Jonck said he considered himself everyone’s friend.

“People call me Mr Magic or Madiba. I am going to do a cartoon of the whole case. I have shown it to some influential people and they are impressed,” he said.

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