A man who stands accused of mutilating the genitals of women said he had permission before removing the clitorides of a number of women in amateur procedures, a South African court heard.

Peter Frederiksen is facing 58 charges, many of them relating to the collection of nine clitorides stored in his freezer at his Bloemfontein home in 2015, in a grim case that has gripped the nation.

Lead investigator, warrant officer Lynda Steyn, said police found cameras, photographs, female panties and strands of pubic hair kept in packages after searching Frederiksen's bedroom, the Free State High Court heard.

She added more female panties were found in a safe in the bedroom where firearms were also stored.

"The pubic hair bags were found in different places in the bedroom," said Steyn, reported South African newspaper The Star.

Police searched Frederiksen's house in September 2015 after his wife, Anna Matseliso Molise, reported that he had pierced and cut – though not removed – her clitoris when she was drunk.

A month later Molise was found shot dead outside her home. Earlier in the trial, wheelchair-bound prisoner Motlatsi Moqeti told the court that Frederiksen, 62, had paid him around £2,000 to arrange a hit on his wife.

Police believe the collection of individually bagged clirtorides in his freezer was accumulated by Frederiksen from women in nearby Lesotho, possibly by paying them to undergo the amateur surgical procedure.

The court heard that in a spare room in the house police found wine bottle corks with dates and names of people believed to be victims of alleged genital mutilation. The judge has ordered that names of the alleged victims should not be published.

"We also found bandages, numerous medical instruments, medical equipment and rings we believe were used for piercing, and there was also a vibrator," Steyn told the court.

Defence lawyer Marius Bruwer asked Steyn if any women had come forward claiming Frederiksen had violated them when he performed this procedure.

"The people we approached were too scared. They did not want to testify," said Steyn.

Steyn added that Frederiksen had "bragged" to at least one woman that he had connections at the local police station.

But Bruwer said: "It is our instruction from the accused that all circumcisions were consensual."

Earlier, the court heard from Dr JM Kotze, who examined a minor Frederiksen has been accused of sexually abusing. Kotze said there could have been attempted penetration as the hymen was thinner than normal.

The charges Frederiksen faces include conspiracy to commit murder, several counts of illegally removing human tissue, removing human tissue in an unauthorised place, rape and illegally dealing in firearms.

The trial continues.