Pre-wedding jitters shared in secret call

SMILING COUPLE: Christopher and Jayde Panayiotou in happier times.
SMILING COUPLE: Christopher and Jayde Panayiotou in happier times.

ON the day of Christopher Panayiotou and Jayde’s wedding three years ago, he phoned his mistress’s best friend, questioning whether or not he was doing the right thing.

He even joked with Clarishka Kapp that she should abduct him.

Details of the secret conversation, just hours before he said “I do”, his jealousy over Chanelle Coutts’s friendship with another man, the expensive gifts Panayiotou gave Coutts and their surprise romantic weekends away, are contained in affidavits seen exclusively by The Herald.

Kapp, 27, a lifelong friend of Coutts, said it was clear Panayiotou and Coutts were besotted with each other.

Panayiotou married Jayde – his high school sweetheart – in June 2013.

She was murdered two years later, allegedly at his behest.

Kapp said Coutts, 27, of Algoa Park, had clearly been upset when Panayiotou and Jayde got married.

Coutts worked at the OK Grocer in Algoa Park, which he part-owned.

The two met in September 2011.

“Chanelle and I spoke on the day of the wedding … she could not understand how Chris could marry Jayde when the two of them were seeing each other,” Kapp said.

Despite the marriage, the two continued to see each other and the relationship became more serious.

She said Panayiotou would often spoil Coutts with expensive gifts such as a GHD hair straightener, a gold watch and a Polo handbag.

“Chris told me a few times he loved Chanelle,” Kapp said.

“He sometimes went onto Chanelle’s Facebook [page] and saw she had been chatting to another male friend.

“He was unhappy about it and confronted her about it. He saw her as his.”

She said Coutts had also been jealous at times.

Coutts details in her statement how she and Panayiotou would meet at his house when Jayde was out, or at a hotel.

She said he had given her R17 000 towards buying a new car in April 2014, but this was because she had worked for their family business for such a long time. She said they had often bought each other expensive gifts.

She went with him to Pretoria in 2013 to apply for his Cyprus passport.

One of the state’s main objections to bail has been Panayiotou’s dual citizenship. It says he could flee the country. Coutts said she had also gone with him to apply for a US visa.

“In March 2013, I applied for a passport in Port Elizabeth,” she said.

“There was no specific reason for this, but Clarishka and I often spoke about going on a boat cruise.”

In September 2013, Panayiotou and Kapp surprised Coutts with a weekend in George for her birthday.

Kapp said she had been hurt when he told her he was engaged.

“I hoped that one day we would be together and thought he would get divorced,” she said.

After he bought a house with Jayde, Coutts became even more despondent, but she said he had told her everything would be okay.

Coutts and Kapp will be called by the state as witnesses.



* This morning, HeraldLIVE inadvertently published the wrong image with this article. HeraldLIVE regrets the error and apologises for any inconvenienced caused. The image has since been removed.


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