Komatipoort - Two men accused of robbing an Indian national's shop appeared in the Tonga Magistrate's Court on Thursday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Paito Khumbane, 30, and Jordaan Lazaro Nhanthumba, 26, pleaded not guilty to a charge of business robbery.

The men, from Mozambique, remained in custody and the matter was transferred to the regional court, where their trial would begin on Tuesday.

They were arrested on January 26 after the shop was robbed. Nhanthumba and Khumbane told the court they were innocent.

“The only thing I remember and know is that I was coming from a tavern at about 2am on the day of the incident and came across policemen who accused me of robbing an Indian shop during that night,” said Nhanthumba.

Police took him to the scene of the crime and the security guard said two men tied him up.

Nhanthumba said: “The reason I pointed out Khumbane was because they asked me who I normally hang around with.”

Khumbane told the court he was arrested while sleeping at his rented room.

“I was so surprised when my friend told the police this is the man and I got arrested immediately,” he said.

At their previous appearance, investigating officer Constable Vusi Moses Thobela testified there was strong evidence against them.

He said Nhanthumba was found hiding near the shop with a toy gun, which police believed was used to frighten the security guard,