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Bheki Cele must find killers of Hillary Gardee before we find them, says Julius Malema

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Malema told journalists that the killers “will be shown the ugly side of the EFF”.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said indications are that the killers are within South Africa’s borders and resources have been mobilised to catch them. Picture: Timothy Bernard/ African News Agency (ANA)

“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 …” said Julius Malema.

These were the remarks made by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema at the Gardee homestead, where a funeral is being held for Hillary, the slain daughter of former EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee. The lifeless body of the university student was found abandoned in Mpumalanga on Tuesday.

“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 internally. 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,” said Malema.

Malema told journalists that the killers “will be shown the ugly side of the EFF”.

On Tuesday, the EFF announced that the body of Hillary had been found.

“The 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 was reported missing on 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,” added Thambo.

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.

The SAPS said the team assembled to investigate and arrest the killers behind the gruesome murder of Hillary Gardee, the daughter of former EFF secretary-general Goodrich Gardee, has worked tirelessly overnight since the discovery of the body on Tuesday.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the three-year-old child that was with Hillary at the time of her abduction would assist in the investigation through the involvement of experts.

“There was a child, a three-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,” said Mdhluli.

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.

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