Pretoria – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has hit back at social media users blaming his party’s “open borders” policy with the gruesome murder of Hillary Gardee, the daughter of former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee.
“Brainless people will always try to find a reason even where it doesn’t exist. Women have been killed in this country before the EFF was formed. To attribute a woman to the policy of the EFF of open borders is to expose the size of their brain which is same level and size of a peanut. That’s what it is,” Malema addressed journalists in Nelspruit.
“There is no link at all. Women have been killed in this country and this crime started during the times of colonialism. They (women) have always been hated for being women, for being black and for being working class. The small brain cannot comprehend that. It will look for some non-existent reasons to justify the hatred.”
Hillary Indira Gardee, aged 28, was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1994. She was the first-born daughter of politician and lawyer Gardee.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) said the team assembled on Tuesday to investigate and arrest the killers behind the gruesome murder of Hillary has worked tirelessly overnight since the discovery of the body.
Malema said he also has a team pursuing the killers, and wants “to teach them a lesson they will never forget”.
“We have committed to the family to find these killers, and we have committed to Bheki Cele’s words that he must find them before we find them. If we find them before him, we will not give you any guarantee as to what is going to happen,” the opposition party leader spoke to journalists after meeting the bereaved family.
Malema said the people spewing hatred “were never loved”.
“You cannot expect love from people who do not love themselves. The people who matter have sent their condolences and that is enough. You cannot expect love from people who were dropped on their heads by their parents when they were born. They were never loved. Some of them, their parents slept on top of them, and you think such people have capacity to love anyone?” said the firebrand politician.
“Do not be worried about such characters. We love each other and that is enough. We do not need support of any haters. This, we are going to kill on our own.”
Malema said intelligence information so far shows that the killers were “internal”.
“We have deployed all manner of resources on the ground to look for these criminals. The report we have is that we can rest assured that it is not a mission that comes from outside. It is a mission that comes from internal. Therefore, we have no reason to be looking over the borders as to who could have done this,” said Malema who was flanked by senior EFF leaders including his deputy Floyd Shivambu.
“The assurance we have got from the intelligence we deployed on the ground is that it is internal work and we are becoming closer to the situation. We want to teach them a lesson that they will never forget for the rest of their lives because they took the wrong one this time around. Anyone who touches our children, touches us. They don’t want to see the ugly side of the EFF.”
Malema told journalists that the killers “will be shown the ugly side of the EFF”.
Earlier, Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the 3-year-old child who was with Hillary at the time of her abduction would assist in the investigation through the involvement of experts.
“There was a child, a 3-year-old. Remember, regarding the manner in which children communicate, there is always a need to have experts, especially social workers. Of course, children have a way of communicating a message,” Mdhluli told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika during an interview.
“We believe that will be part of the investigation. However, there is also other information, for example, the CCTV footage that will also come on board to assist this team of experts.”
Mdhluli said the SAPS is hopeful the case will be cracked and the perpetrators arrested.
“We believe that each and every detail that these experts are having now, and they are trying to get, will help them crack the case,” he said.
Police have appealed for information from community members to assist in solving the murder case.