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Maswanganyi's 'killers' SANDF members

The policeman's body was discovered in a field near Hammanskraal in June.

Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi, whose body was found in a field near Hammanskraal. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - It has emerged that three of the four men accused of murdering senior Johannesburg policeman Tirhani Maswanganyi are members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

The four accused, Private Isaac Vele, Tshepo Mosai, Roger Moseki and Corporel Daniel Nefolovhodwe, have been applying for bail in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court.

The officer's half-naked body was discovered bound and dumped in a field near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, in June.

Under cross examination, Nefolovhodwe said he knew his co-accused Moseki was a member of the infantry.

He said he also worked in the same unit as co-accused Vele, but claimed he wasn't his friend, but only a colleague.

Earlier this week, it emerged that Vele has a previous conviction for rape, for which he received a suspended sentence.

Vele told the court he couldn't understand how he's been implicated in the murder because on the day in question he was picking up his chief of staff at OR Tambo International Airport.

His commanding officer has written an affidavit supporting his claim, but it emerged in court that the document hadn't been commissioned.

Nefolovhodwe said he met the other accused, Mosai, while visiting Moseke's home in Roodepoort.

According to the charge sheet, this is where the state alleges the four men plotted to murder Maswanganyi.

The state has also alleged that a week before Maswanganyi's murder, the four accused conspired to murder another police officer.

While it's clear their plan didn't materialise, further details are expected to emerge in court.

The matter resumes in two weeks' time.

Because of the seriousness of the crime, the accused will have to show exceptional circumstances why they should be released on bail.