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South African man who 'copied and pasted' wife's eulogy charged with murdering her

Christopher Panayiotou gave a “moving tribute” to his wife last week. Now he’s been charged with her murder.

File photo of Christopher Panayiotou.
File photo of Christopher Panayiotou.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A SOUTH AFRICAN man has been charged with his wife’s murder, police said today, less than a week after local media reported that the touching eulogy he delivered at her funeral was plagiarized.

Schoolteacher Jayde Panayiotou, 28, was abducted in the street near her home on 21 April, police said.

Her body was spotted by a police helicopter a day later. She was shot to death.

In the following days, photographs of her wedding to Christopher Panayiotou were published in local media, and he reportedly gave an emotional eulogy at her funeral.

However, local news website News24 discovered striking similarities between that speech and one posted online five years ago.

“My Sweet Wife’s Eulogy“, by Charles Atkins, contains passages that strongly appear to have been ‘copied and pasted’ by Panayiotou.

News website EWN highlighted several, including this one:

From Atkins’ eulogy, in 2010:

…I can say with absolute confidence that Jennifer is not gone. She is everywhere:Jennifer rides the wind like an elemental force. She can be experienced in the blooming of the flowers of the field.She is the pink-white blossoms of the cherry tree. She is the crest and spindrift of breaking gulf waves.

She is the fertile soil of the woods. She is the enduring ember of your fire on a cold winter’s night.

From Panayiotou’s eulogy, last week:

Jayde is not gone; she is everywhere. Jayde resides in the wind like an elemental force.

She can be experienced in the blooming of flowers; she is the yellow in daffodils of her favourite flower.

She is the crest in every breaking wave, she is the fertile soil; she is the enduring embers of the fire.

Panayiotou was arrested last week, following the arrest of another man also accused of the murder, said police spokeswoman Marinda Mills. A third man has also been arrested.

Christopher Panayiotou appeared in court Monday in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. His case has been postponed until 19 June.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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