In a brief appearance before Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair, murder accused Steven Meda said he understood English “just a little”.
Nair repeatedly explained to Meda that the charges he faced were so serious that, if convicted, could mean life imprisonment.
Meda also faces charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
In court, Meda’s trial was officially joined to that of three other accused, already in police custody.
Sipho Alfred Tlou, 25, Thabo Mampa, age unknown, and Themba Mbowane, 34, were arrested in Winterveld, north of Pretoria, in December.
They appeared before Nair last week, facing charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravated circumstances, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Their case will continue in the court on Tuesday. They will now be joined by Meda in their formal bail application.
Nair ordered that a Shona-speaking prosecutor be availed on Tuesday, for Meda’s benefit.
The four allegedly hijacked Poortman, 47, in Pretoria central, stabbed him in the upper body, and dumped him along the Theo Martin road in Mabopane.
They allegedly took his firearm and drove to Winterveld in his car, where the first three accused were arrested. Poortman’s car and firearm were later recovered.
Poortman was married to another police officer, Warrant Officer Ann Poortman, who is the spokeswoman for the Pretoria central police station.