A reward of R100,000 has since been issued for information leading to the location of the 28-year-old student who vanished on Friday.
THE disappearance of Hillary Gardee, daughter of EFF’s former secretary-general Godrich Gardee, who is now the opposition party’s head of international relations, is causing untold suffering to the family, the Economic Freedom Fighters has said.
A reward of R100,000 has since been issued for information leading to the location of the 28-year-old student.
EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said considering the unparalleled levels of violence against women and children in South Africa, many are now speculating about the worst-case scenario.
“Her disappearance has caused untold pain to the Gardee family and tremendous sadness to all of us as the comrades of Commissar Gardee. Considering the high levels of violence against women and children in this country, the continued disappearance of Hillary is worrying and leads us all to speculate the worst,” said Thambo.
“We plead with anyone who knows the whereabouts of Hillary to reach out to the relevant law enforcement agencies and the family and assist them in finding their beloved daughter. All ground forces of the EFF in Mpumalanga must lend a helping hand in the search to ensure that she is found alive, unharmed and well.”
He said the Julius Malema-led political party called for compassion and restraint to be shown to the Gardee family during this difficult time “as they focus on finding Hillary”.
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 is being 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 poster has also been shared by EFF leader Julius Malema and others from the party.
Civil rights group #NotInMyName has also circulated the poster seeking information on Hillary, with the caption: “She will be found”.
Hillary was with a three-year-old girl she was looking after. Mbatha said the child was living with Gardee’s family at the time, and the family intended to adopt her.
“Before Hillary’s mother died, this little girl lived with them, and I think they were in the process of adopting her. She was with Hillary because after Mrs Gardee died, Hillary looked after the girl,” Mbatha said.
He said the little girl was found on a street in KamaGugu hours after the pair went missing.
“Naturally, the family is distraught. Anyone who goes through something like this does not want to believe the worst, so the family is trying to remain strong and keeping the hope,” Mbatha said.
Anyone with information is requested to phone the hotline set up by the family: 072 514 1456.