An undercover police officer watched as a suspected drug dealer removed the drug tik - hidden in a box of tomatoes - from the boot of his car, the Wynberg regional court heard on Tuesday.

Superintendent Leon du Preez, of the crime intelligence unit, testified at the trial of alleged drug lord Nazeer Kapdi, 55, and four co-accused before Magistrate Fransie Mouton.

By posing as a bankrupt businessman, Du Preez managed to infiltrate a drug syndicate, allegedly headed by Kapdi.

At the very start of the hearing on Monday, the case turned into a trial-within-a-trial, in which Mouton has to decide whether evidence obtained from a police trap may be used to prosecute the five.

On Tuesday, Du Preez told the court he arranged with Kapdi to deliver the last of three consignments of tik at the Kenilworth Shopping Centre in Cape Town.

Two of Kapdi's co-accused, Ismail Daniels, 52, and Owen Phakade, 30, were to wait in a white bakkie at the shopping centre, and Du Preez was to park alongside the bakkie, leave the boot of his car unlocked, and then go towards the shops.

Du Preez said he watched from a distance as Daniels opened the boot, removed the box of tomatoes, placed it in the back of the bakkie and then drove off.

Du Preez said he immediately reported the development to the investigating detective, Captain Heinrich Cockrill, who told him to go to a nearby fast food outlet, to await further instructions.

On his way there, Du Preez received a call from Kapdi, who was worried because he had been unable to make contact with Daniels and Phakade.

Du Preez told the court: "I told Kapdi I had no idea where they were.

"Soon afterwards, Kapdi drove past me in a Nissan Skyline, and I informed Cockrill.

"Shortly after that, Cockrill informed me that all three - Kapdi, Daniels and Phakade - had been arrested and were in custody at the Claremont police cells."

The arrest of the three ended the police operation, Du Preez said.

Du Preez was then cross-examined by Johannesburg senior counsel, Max Hodes, acting for Kapdi.

The hearing continues on Wednesday. - Sapa