Sipho Masiqa, 34, Raymond Matshaba, 27 and Bradley Molefe, 34, pleaded not guilty to murdering Thifhelimbilu Mashau, her eight-month-old baby Avheani and four-year-old daughter Adivhaho in July 2010.
They also pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances and to charges of kidnapping and raping Mashau.
The State alleges the accused strangled the two children after breaking into Mashau’s house in Theresa Park during the night.
They allegedly robbed Mashau of her red VW Polo and other items.
They forced her to accompany them to Ga-Rankuwa, where they allegedly raped and murdered her.
A group of hunters discovered her half-naked body in the bushes two days later.
Masiqa and Molefe used their right to silence, but Matshaba said he had merely helped Masiqa hide the car and had nothing to do with the murders.
Mashau’s friend Khathutshelo Ramabulana testified she had phoned a security company after finding her friend’s home standing open and her car gone and being unable to reach her.
Captain Happy Seane testified he found the body of a toddler with a balaclava over her face in one of the bedrooms.
The other child was lying face-down in the bathtub.
Warrant Officer R Baloyi testified he had known Mashau and identified her body.
Her underwear and trousers had been pulled down to her knees, patches of her hair had been ripped out and she had visible injuries behind both ears, on her head, her back and leg.
Masiqa’s girlfriend Tshepiso Mogotsi testified she had seen Masiqa with a red VW Polo at their house in July 2010.
A woman and two others had been in the car.
Masiqa said the woman had given the car to him because they wanted the insurance money.
He wanted to register the car in Mogotsi’s name, but she refused.
Masiqa later returned home with the same car and a lot of items, including the papers for the car, a plasma television, laptop computer, DVD player and a bottle of expensive whisky.
“He told me he took the things at Theresa Park... He said he was going to sell it,” she said.
When she later heard a radio report about a woman and two children who had been murdered in Theresa Park, Mogotsi confronted Masiqa, but he denied killing anyone.
Mogotsi went to the police to report what had happened and helped the police find Masiqa.
The trial continues.