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Speculation rife in Gardee case

The EFF’s former secretary-general, Godrige Gardee, at his daughter Hillary’s funeral service on Saturday, May 7. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

The EFF’s former secretary-general, Godrige Gardee, at his daughter Hillary’s funeral service on Saturday, May 7. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 8, 2022

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By Vusi Adonis

Mbombela – Speculation has been rife about the identity of the man arrested for Hillary Gardee’s murder.

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It has been widely reported that a second arrest has been made in connection with the killing of Hillary Gardee, but no official statements have been issued by either the police or the Gardee family spokesperson.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli would not be drawn into commenting on speculation surrounding the case.

“Unfortunately, we cannot issue a blow-by-blow report on the developments in the case. If you consider that we arrested the first suspect in Schoemansdal close to the border of Swaziland, we cannot risk issuing information that could lead to persons of interest fleeing the country and then we’d have to try to have them extradited back to the country,” he said.

A multidisciplinary team of experts have been working on the case and there are three other persons of interest who have been identified.

Mdhluli added, “We cannot report every time we bring individuals in for questioning, because we could jeopardise the case. People need to give the police space to do their work.”

Meanwhile, both the leader of the EFF Julius Malema and member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi have posted cryptic messages on the social media platform Twitter.

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Malema tweeted: “URGENT: Missing Persons; don’t make noise when you see him. Report to the nearest police station…” while Ndlozi was more direct. His Tweet reads: “Wanted! If seen, call SAPS Urgently!”

Police Minister Bheki Cele attended 28-year-old Gardee’s funeral on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The minister alluded to fact that the persons of interest in the Gardee murder case were individuals who had political affiliations, and some were prominent business people in the local community of Mbombela.

Cele used his time on the podium to laud Mpumalanga provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Semakeleng Manamela and her team. This was after a male suspect was arrested in connection with the murder of Gardee.

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He described the crime as “heinous” and said, “That young woman was brutalised. She had a tough, bad last hours. For what reason? Sizothola (we will find out… But she was brutalised.”

Cele stated that they believed that the motive for the killing might be financially, politically and criminally motivated. He reiterated that no one who was involved in Hillary’s murder would escape the wrath of the law.

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The male suspect, who is said to be middle-aged, is expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday, May 8, on a charge of murder.

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