Three men appeared briefly in the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday in connection with the murder of ANC North West official Obuti Chika, the Hawks said.

Pietermaritzburg - The trial of 15 policemen, who are charged with murdering a man over the alleged theft of a gun belonging to one of them, has been adjourned to February.

The trial was supposed to resume in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Wednesday, but a problem with legal representation caused the delay.

The men are charged with the murder of Nhlanhla Luthuli, housebreaking with intent to cause malicious damage to property, pointing a firearm and the assault of his girlfriend Amanda Ncube. The crimes allegedly took place in the Zamani area of Mpumalanga township on October 28, 2010.

The State alleges that they severely assaulted and murdered Luthuli because he would not tell them where he had hidden a firearm taken from Phumlani Mkhize’s house during a robbery. Mkhize is one of the policemen charged.

In September, Ncube told the court she watched the father of her child being “assaulted and booted” whenever he denied knowing the whereabouts of the gun.

After being severely assaulted, Luthuli was taken away by the policemen, she said. The next morning a passer-by discovered the naked and bloodied man at a bus stop.

He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead. - The Mercury