Tonga, Mpumalanga - The trial of a Mpumalanga pensioner accused of hacking his friend to death with a butcher's knife is set to start next month.

Mackson Elias Sibiya, 72, of Dludluma village near the Mozambican border, was not asked to plead when he appeared in the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Monday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

“You will appear in court in June for your trial to start as your DNA test results are already available in court,” Magistrate Hazel Khoza told the accused.

Sibiya, who walked into the court dock using a walking stick, was arrested on October 9, 2013.

He is accused of hacking his friend Armando Manyonola Chauke, 50, of Dludluma village, to death, after a fight broke out between the two at a tavern.

Sibiya smiled and laughed in the dock when prosecutor Anastasia Rapelwana confirmed that he would appear for trial on June 27.

Sapa