Family members of the murder victims outside the South Gauteng High Court. Picture: Lindi Masinga / ANA

Johannesburg - The trial of the five men accused of brutally murdering a couple in Kagiso was set down by the South Gauteng High Court on Monday to start next month.

"The matter is ready for trial," state prosecutor Carla Britz told Judge Van der Westhuizen, adding that it could commence on August 27.

Bheki Mzama, 28, Sabatha Matoko, 30, Lindokhule Tembani, 24, Thamsanqa Msezane, 21 and Londani Mzama, 23, are all facing two counts of murder and three counts of rape, kidnapping, negligent driving and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Msezane was part of a group of inmates who escaped from Johannesburg Prison, popularly known as Sun City. He was rearrested and has since been kept in maximum security.

The group allegedly raped Jeanette Cindi, 34, several times before setting her and her friend Lungelo Buthelezi, 31, alight in April last year while they were on their way home from a night out, in Kagiso, West of Johannesburg.

Family and friends of Buthelezi and Cindi said they were pleased that there was progress in the case.

African News Agency (ANA)