Three men arrested in connection with the murder of Hillary Gardee, the daughter of former EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee, have appeared in the Mbombela Magistrate’s Court.
By Vusi Adonis
MBOMBELA – The three suspects arrested in connection with Hillary Gardee’s murder appeared in the Mbombela Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Sipho Lawrence Mkatshwa, Philemon Lukhele and Mduzuzi Gama are charged with murder, rape, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and possession of illegal firearms.
The State requested that the accused be denied bail because of the seriousness of the crime.
All three abandoned their bail application.
They requested they be given medical attention, saying they were allegedly tortured while in custody.
The matter was postponed until June 9.
Before the proceedings began, EFF member and family spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said the family did not want the accused to get bail because they could be a flight risk.
A large contingent of EFF members was outside court in support of the Gardee family.
The three men were arrested over the weekend, with the first being apprehended on the eve of Gardee’s funeral.
The possibility of there being further arrests has not been ruled out by the police as the investigation continues.
Gardee, 28, was buried on Saturday.
Police Minister Bheki Cele, Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane and EFF leader Julius Malema were among the dignitaries in attendance to pay their last respects.
Gardee was reported missing on Friday, April 29. She was reportedly last seen leaving a shopping complex in Nelspruit at approximately 5.30pm.
A group of passers-by who were making their way to work found her body in a field about 40km outside Mbombela on Tuesday.
An autopsy revealed that 28-year-old Gardee was shot in the back of the head and stabbed multiple times.
The motive for her killing is unknown.