A Western Cape police officer accused of murdering an Ethiopian shop owner after he allegedly refused to pay protection money has appeared in court.

The 26-year-old constable, who is stationed at the Stellenbosch police station, as well as a 35-year-old alleged accomplice have been charged with murder and extortion.

The pair were arrested on Friday.

Brigadier Novela Potelwa, police spokesperson in a statement said “The arrest of the two relates to an incident where an Ethiopian shop owner was murdered in Stellenbosch in February 2020 after he allegedly refused to pay protection money”.

The accused, who made their first appearance in court on Monday, have been remanded in custody as the matter has been postponed to 11 November for a formal bail application.

Potelwa added that the police officer has been suspended from duty.