About 100 residents were picketing outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday ahead of the trial of three people accused of building hijacking in the inner city, said a resident.

"The community is against the three being granted with bail as they may interfere with the legal proceedings," said Friends of the Inner-city Forum chairman, Moses Ka Moyo.

The three, two men and a woman, were arrested two weeks ago after community members informed police the trio had hijacked the Quartz Plaza building on the corner of Quartz and Plein streets.

Residents were displaying placards with, "No bail for building hijackers", "Phansi ngama hijacker " and "We're going to be free one day", written on them, said Moyo.

At around 11am the judge adjourned proceedings to consider the matter and would make a judgment when he returns.

The three were accused of collecting rent in buildings that did not belong to them and putting residents in danger by illegally connecting electricity.

They face charges of fraud, theft under false pretences and building hijacking.

"Their days are numbered. They will be exposed and the long arm of the law will deal with them ruthlessly," said Moyo. - Sapa