The trio stands accused of having murdered three people - as well as attempting to murder a fourth - and claiming more than R1.3 million worth of life insurance policies they had taken out on their lives.

Durban - Two men and a woman - accused of murdering three people for their life insurance policies - will stand trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court next year.

Joseph Khanyile, Mandla Khumalo and Doris Dladla / Zaca made a brief appearance before the court on Thursday, when they were told their case would be heard over five weeks in May and June 2018.

The trio stands accused of having murdered three people - as well as attempting to murder a fourth - and claiming more than R1.3 million worth of life insurance policies they had taken out on their lives.

The State says they plied their first victim with mandrax-laced liquor, before driving him out to a deserted road in rural KwaZulu-Natal and driving over him.

Their second alleged victim met a similar end, while their third was shot.

A mentally challenged woman - whom the State says the trio tried to kill - survived being run over.

The State says they all acted in common purpose and that regardless of whether or not they were all present when the victims were murdered, they should all be held responsible.