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Pietermaritzburg - Six men who allegedly shot and killed the owners of the Wartburger Hof hotel in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, appeared in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Monday.
The six are accused of shooting dead Siegfried Schadle, 68, and his wife Ingrid, 65, during a robbery on November 7 2007.
Judge Kate Pillay and his assessors heard the six failed to open the safe and left empty-handed.
Two of the men, former employee at the hotel Muntkayise Ngubane, 35, and Funokwakhe Ncane, 42, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder and attempted robbery.
The State alleges the accused and four other men conspired to rob the hotel and arrived in two vehicles.
They allegedly had a variety of firearms and had reconnoitred the hotel two days previously.
Four of the gang went to the hotel office and tried to open the safe while two others pointed guns at Ingrid, who started screaming. Siegfried rushed from the dining room and grabbed an assailant, who turned and shot him.
Ingrid tried to push the panic button at the counter but was shot in the chest. The couple died on the scene. Hotel chef Max Haller was shot at, but unhurt.
The men abandoned the robbery and fled.
The trial is set down for hearing the rest of this week.