Johannesburg -

Three men accused of involvement in the murder of paediatrician Dr Louis Heyns will appear in the Cape High Court for pre-trial on Friday.

Heyns, a University of Stellenbosch medical professor, went missing on May 22 last year. His body was found in a shallow grave in Strand on May 30.

Juan Liedeman and brothers Marthinus, 33, and Sarel van der Walt, 42, were arrested. The brothers face charges of killing and robbing Heyns. They abandoned their bail applications on Monday.

Liedeman, a Malmesbury businessman, faces charges for being found in possession of Heyns's stolen vehicle.

The Director of Public Prosecutions decided to charge him with both robbery as an accessory after the fact and defeating the ends of justice - both schedule six offences.

He was released on R20 000 bail in June last year, after proving that exceptional circumstances existed to warrant his release.

Magistrate NB Magutwya said at the time he had taken into account that Liedeman had several businesses which needed to be run, and was the primary caregiver of his wife, their two children, a third child from a previous relationship, and his retired parents.

Liedeman said in a bail application affidavit that he had received threats from the Van der Walts before and after his arrest on May 30.

He said Sarel van der Walt used to work for him, but he confronted him because he believed he was stealing from the business and summarily dismissed him. The threats apparently started soon afterwards. - Sapa