The ANC in Mpumalanga has withdrawn the membership for murder accused Philimon Lukhele with immediate effect because he is a foreign national.
THE ANC in Mpumalanga has withdrawn the membership for murder accused Philimon Lukhele with immediate effect because he is a foreigner.
Lukhele, along with two others, Sipho Mkhatshwa and Mduduzi Nkala, were arrested two weeks ago amid being linked to the gruesome murder of Hillary Gardee.
The suspects are facing charges of kidnapping, rape, possession of an illegal firearm, defeating the ends of justice and murder. They will appear again in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on June 9.
Gardee is the daughter of former EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee. The motive for the killing is still unknown.
“Following the arrest of Lukhele and his subsequent charges, the ANC provincial working committee has taken a decision to immediately withdraw his membership,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Ngelosi Ndhlovu.
Ndlovu said the withdrawal of Lukhele’s membership had been invoked in accordance with the ANC constitution rule 4.
“After an investigation into his membership was conducted which proved that it was obtained irregularly, and therefore does not satisfy the stipulated requirements of the ANC constitution in that he is not a South African.
“The ANC PEC reiterates its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Gardee family and condemns in the strongest possible terms all forms of gender-based violence and femicide,” Dlamini said.
Lukhele was an ANC senior researcher in Mpumalanga provincial legislature’s chief whip Fidel Mlambo’s office.
“As an office we made our own investigations, it is true that he was arrested. We extend our sincere condolences to the family. Our organisation is against any act of violence against women and children – we are on the side of the victims,” said Mlambo.
Another suspect, Mkhatshwa, is reported to be the adopted son of an ANC politician.