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Pietermaritzburg - A woman chewed a hole through a glove used to gag her so she could breathe, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Wednesday.

Dilys Elizabeth Bucher was testifying against three men charged with robbing and murdering her farmer friend Daniel Knight.

Tsepiso Ramonyane, 20, Bonginkosi Nyawose, 33 and Happy Gcina, 24, pleaded not guilty before Judge Jerome Mnguni.

The men, wearing balaclavas, allegedly arrived at Knight's farm near Himeville, in KwaZulu-Natal, one night in October.

Bucher told the court the men said: “Dan Knight, we have come here to kill both of you. We want your guns and money.”

She was assaulted, her hands and feet were tied to the pedestal of a wash basin, and she was gagged with a glove.

Knight told the men there was no money in the house because his staff were paid by an agent.

Bucher said Knight offered to give them a cheque, but they said they wanted cash.

Knight's head was bludgeoned with a hammer until his brains oozed out, she told the court.

Bucher could not say how long it took her to chew a hole in the glove.

She wriggled free and ran away barefoot after the attackers left. She drove to a neighbour's farm and was taken to a doctor.

The State alleges that Knight was bound and gagged, and battered with a 4.5kg hammer, while Bucher was also tied up and gagged.

It was alleged that the men, from the nearby district of Bulwer, hid in a forest until nightfall.

The State alleged that the accused planned the invasion believing that Knight had money in his home to pay wages.

The three men are also accused of stealing money, two vehicles, and other items such as firearms and knives.