Pretoria – The EFF said on Tuesday that the body of Hillary Gardee, the daughter of the party’s former secretary-general, Godrich Gardee, had been found.
“EFF regrets, with deep sadness, to inform the public about the passing of the daughter of EFF former secretary general, Hillary Gardee. The body of Hillary Gardee was found abandoned outside Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, after she had gone missing on the April 29, 2022,” said EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo.
“This heart-breaking news has left the Gardee family distraught, and the collective leadership of the EFF at a loss for words.”
Hillary Indira Gardee, aged 28, was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1994.
“She was the first-born daughter of Commissar Godrich Gardee and her loss has left immeasurable devastation, as he grapples with the pain of losing a child in such a callous, cruel and inhumane manner. Hillary was an enthusiastic, kind and loving individual, who had a passion for information technology,” said Thambo.
“She was a student at the University of South Africa, studying IT part-time while running her own IT business. Her kindness and generosity was most evident in her commitment to adopt and care for a 3-year old child, who by the grace of God was spared on the day of Hillary’s abduction. She looked after the child as if she were her own, an inspiring act for a woman of such a young age.”
The Julius Malema-led opposition party sent out “deepest condolences and sympathies” to Gardee, the Gardee family and those who were close to Hillary.
“We mourn with the Gardee family, and will provide a helping hand to ensure that her memory is preserved and she goes to her final resting place with dignity. The family at this time is still reeling from the terrible news of the loss of their child, and as such is not in a position to speak to the media or the public,” said Thambo.
Hillary reportedly disappeared on Friday after she was last seen at a Spar outlet in a shopping plaza in Nelspruit.
Her uncle, Moses Mbatha, confirmed that the family had since reported the matter to the Nelspruit police who are investigating.
Speaking to IOL on Monday, Mbatha said his niece was last seen at about 5.50pm on Friday. He said her phone had since been switched off.
According to the missing person poster that was circulated on social media, Gardee was last seen wearing a black top and black trousers and was carrying a shopping bag and a laptop bag.
The missing person poster had also been shared by Malema and others from the party.
Civil rights group #NotInMyName also circulated the poster seeking information on Hillary.