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By Citizen Reporter


There’s no cover-up on Hillary Gardee’s murder case, say police amid ‘incompetence’ claims

'There’s definitely no cover-up on this matter,' says Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

Former EFF secretary-general and attorney Godrich Gardee has once again accused the South African Police Service (SAPS) of incompetence in relation to the murder of his daughter, Hillary.

On Monday, Gardee criticised the police of ignoring video footage revealing car registration numbers of Hillary’s alleged killers.

According to Gardee, the suspects are seen in the video going to an ATM to withdraw money from Hillary’s bank account.

“I have watched the video of the thugs getting out of the car to the ATM to withdraw the money of Hillary Gardee. [The South African Police Service] was given the car registration number.

“They have not arrested anyone… If I am assassinated, [the South African Police Service] must answer!” Gardee said in a tweet.

ALSO READ: Gardee blames victims’ silence and police incompetence for daughter Hillary’s death

“Since 24 May 2022, they have not arrested the user, the smuggler and the buyer of the contraband phone into the cells of Ronald Lamola centers, and we think they can arrest ATM thugs. We expect too much from [the South African Police Service],” he further said.

Gardee on 23 June had tweeted that he would expose “shenanigans and gross incompetence” of police regarding Hillary’s murder if they did not act on information he had given them approximately 20 days earlier.

But Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala told City Press that police were working on the case and dismissed Gardee’s claims.

“There’s definitely no cover-up on this matter. All the information that’s at our disposal is being processed by the detectives handling the case,” Mohlala said.

Cellphone incident

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) on 27 May confirmed that it had launched an investigation after one of the suspects connected to Hillary’s murder was found with a phone in prison.

The suspect, Philemon Lukhele, was detained at the Nelspruit Correctional Centre in Mpumalanga when he was caught in possession of the phone.

Following the incident, Lukhele – who was recently stripped of his ANC membership – was transferred to the Barberton Correctional Centre, which is a maximum security facility.

READ MORE: Hillary Gardee murder: Suspect caught with phone in prison as police brutality claims surface

Lukhele is facing charges of murder, rape, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and possession of illegal firearms, alongside Sipho Lawrence Mkatshwa and Mduzuzi Gama.

The three suspects were arrested in connection with Gardee’s murder and have already appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court.

They will return to court on 22 July after their case was postponed for further investigations earlier this month.

The EFF has since launched its own investigation into Gardee’s murder by hiring private investigators

The Red Berets had previously accused the police of gross incompetence, saying the officers at the crime scene did not notice that Hillary had a bullet wound in the back of her head.

The party said at the time that the gunshot wound was only noticed by the forensic team afterwards.

The Mpumalanga police, however, said just because the police did not disclose the gunshot wound did not mean they were not aware of it.

Hillary went missing at the Nelspruit Plaza on 29 April.

The 28-year-old was found on 3 May in a timber plantation about 40km outside Mbombela days after she was reported missing.

NOW READ: Police defend investigation of Hillary Gardee’s murder after criticism by EFF