Trio Accused Of Hillary Gardee Rape, Murder, In The Dock, No Bail

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The three men arrested in connection with the murder of 28-year-old Hillary Gardee appeared before the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court, in Mpumalanga, on Monday morning.

The murder accused were named as 39-year-old Sipho Mkhatshwa, 47-year-old Philemon Lukhele – who is employed as a senior researcher in the ANC Chief Whip office of Mpumalanga, and 52-year-old Albert Gama.

They have been charged with conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, rape, murder, possession of a firearm, and defeating the ends of justice.

Hillary – the daughter of former Economic Freedom Fighters secretary general Godrich Gardee – was reported missing just over a week ago.

A few days later, her bruised body was found by timber plantation farmworkers about 500m from the R532 connecting Nelspruit and Sabie.

She had a bullet wound to the head.

Hillary was laid to rest on Saturday in Nelspruit (Mbombela).

During the trio’s appearance in court, they all abandoned their bail applications. The murder case was postponed to 9 June and all three accused were remanded in custody.

The court has also instructed that all three accused receive medical attention after they complained that they had been “tortured” allegedly by the police when they were arrested.

Philemon Lukhele – who is employed as a senior researcher in the ANC Chief Whip office of Mpumalanga