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Twists and turns in Gardee case

On Monday August 22, the three accused, Mkhatshwa, Lukhele and Gama, made yet another appearance, and their defence team argued for the matter to be struck off the court roll

The fourth accused in the Hillary Gardee murder case is set to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday August 24.
Accused number four, Rassie Hlabirwa Nkuna, appeared in the Delmas Magistrate’s Court on Monday August 15, for the murder of the 27-year-old Nonkululeko Crystal Nkosi.

Two weeks ago, her body was dumped in a farm dam and her Mercedes-Benz was stolen. After this appearance, he will join his three co-accused in the Gardee matter, Sipho Mkhatshwa, Philemon Lukhele and Albert Gama, on September 9.

Nkuna also made a brief appearance in the KaNyamazane Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday August 16 for the alleged murder of a police officer, Marcia Mazibuko, and her sister, Pretty Mazibuko, in KaNyamazane on May 15.

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This matter was postponed to September 6 for further investigation. On Monday August 22, the three accused, Mkhatshwa, Lukhele and Gama, made yet another appearance, and their defence team argued for the matter to be struck off the court roll.


This is after they had asked the court to grant them a date for the matter to be transferred to the high court, which the state opposed, arguing that it can only transfer the matter once all the accused bail processes had been finalised.

The court then ruled in favour of the state, citing that for proper administration, the matter needed to be done and dusted in the lower court before it can be transferred to the high court. This ruling, however, did not sit well with the defence team, who immediately launched an appeal.

Just before the three made their appearance in court on Monday, proceedings had to be delayed after two of the three accused did not show up in court due to breakdown in communication.

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A twist in the matter came shortly after Nkuna’s arrest, who had allegedly posted on Facebook that he had killed Gardee and that he had acted alone. Yet another twist was when a Nigerian national who was taken in for questioning on Sunday August 14, and eventually charged for defeating the ends of justice, did not appear in court as expected, as the case was not enrolled.

As a result, the National Prosecuting Authority advised the police to obtain a statement from an expert.

The suspect was then provisionally released, but the police said as soon as the necessary information has been acquired, he will be subpoenaed to appear again.

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