Did Jayde’s husband plagiarise eulogy?

By Fatima Schroeder Time of article published May 2, 2015

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Cape Town - A Buddhism blog known as Fraught with Peril, at the centre of gossip on social networks over the past few days, is one of the first results yielded from a quick Google search of the words “wife” and “eulogy”.

The link in the search results leads to a carefully-worded, almost poetic memorial posted on the website in October 2010, titled “My sweet wife’s eulogy”. Nothing controversial at all, until you get to the third last paragraph.

A slightly tweaked version of that paragraph was widely reported as the eulogy 28-year-old Christopher Panayiotou delivered at a heart-wrenching memorial for his murdered wife Jayde at her funeral in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

The only major difference between the two was that the Fraught with Peril version contained the name Jennifer, while the Panayiotou version referred to Jayde.

The 2010 version was part of a eulogy Charles Atkins wrote for his wife, Jennifer Michelle Dubois Mahannah Atkins.

These are the similarities between the two eulogies:

* Atkins: “I was honoured to be her husband for the past 10 years and I am staggered by her sudden passing.”

Panayiotou: “I was honoured to be with her for the last 11 years and I am staggered by her sudden passing.”

* Atkins: “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.... ”

Panayiotou: “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...”

* Atkins: “Although her passing is truly tragic, it should be a celebration of life, for one of God’s finest creations.”

Panayiotou: “Today should not be one of sadness, although her passing is truly tragic, it should be a celebration of life for one of God’s greatest creations.”

* Atkins: “She was a master chef ...she was a master baker who was so good she could have made Mahatma Gandhi break a fast for some of her angel’s food cake or peach cobbler.”

Panayiotou: Jayde was a master chef and master baker who could have made “Mahatma Gandhi break a fast”.

Many people who have been following developments in the murder are unimpressed.

Others gave him the benefit of the doubt, suggesting that perhaps he was a man of few words, who copied the extract but meant every word of it.

Jayde disappeared from outside her home shortly before her colleague, Cherise Swanepoel, was expected to fetch her.

She was a teacher at Riebeek College Girls’ High School in Uitenhage, near Port Elizabeth.

A massive search for her ensued until the following day, when her body was discovered near KwaNobuhle township in Uitenhage.

She had been shot dead.

On Thursday police announced that the investigation team, which included PE detectives, the Hawks, Crime Intelligence and the National Prosecuting Authority, had made a breakthrough.

Thando Siyoli, 31, had been arrested at Kwazakele township in PE, while another suspect, a 28-year-old man, was later apprehended in Uitenhage.

Siyoli has appeared in court; the second man is due in court on Monday.

Weekend Argus

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