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In The News South Africa

Cell phone data 99.9% accurate – witness

PORT ELIZABETH, June 19 – A Vodacom forensic liaison manager has testified that cell phone data billing captured by the service provider was 99.9 percent accurate, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Monday in the ongoing murder trial against Christopher Panayiotou.

It emerged in court that cell phone billing for various cell phone numbers was released to the state subsequent to a court order last year.

According to the state, cell phone plotting shows co-accused Zolani Sibeko was with alleged shooter Sizwezakhe Vumazonke and Sinethemba Nenembe outside Jayde Panayiotou’s Stellen Glen complex in Kabega just five days before she was abducted, forced into the boot of a vehicle and then taken to a remote area behind Kwanobhule and murdered.

Vumazonke has since died.

Jayde’s husband, Christopher, 29, the alleged mastermind behind the crime, was arrested shortly after her murder in April 2015.

Johanna Heyneke was tasked by the state with plotting cell phone towers in several areas as well as providing cell phone data to the state.

Heyneke testified that cell phone billing obtained showed the detailed history of a specific SIM card, which included incoming and outgoing calls, text messages as well as information on data activities such as Facebook and email.

Heyneke said that a SIM card could show the type of contract which was used and could even indicate the type of handset used at the time and whether handsets were interchanging with a specific SIM card.

She detailed a cell phone billing document- but it was unclear if the billing belonged to Panayiotou, Nenembe or Sibeko.

“The data is 99.9% accurate. The system can lose data if there is a lightning strike for example. We would face huge penalties so checks and balances are done, but at the end of the day the system can’t generate data that’s doesn’t exist..” said Heyneke.

The trial continues.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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