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By Citizen Reporter


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

Police say not disclosing the gunshot wound doesn’t mean they weren’t aware of it.

The Mpumalanga police have defended the way they’ve conducted their investigation into the murder of Hillary Gardee, the daughter of former Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) secretary-general Godrich Gardee.

This comes after the EFF accused the police of gross incompetence on Wednesday.

The EFF’s national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo said police at the crime scene hadn’t noticed that Hillary had a bullet wound in the back of her head.

Tambo said the gunshot wound was only noticed by the forensic team afterwards.

“The police on the scene did not pick up that Hillary had been shot and this is gross incompetence. It does not need forensics to identify a bullet wound on a body so that means the police did not conduct thorough investigations of the crime scene,” he said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli, however, said just because they didn’t disclose the gunshot wound doesn’t mean they weren’t aware of it.

“Earlier on, the police in Mpumalanga reported that Ms Hillary Gardee, aged 28 was discovered murdered with bruises on her body. However, after further investigation by our forensic team, it was revealed that she was shot in her upper body. The police then conveyed this message to the family, which does not prohibit them to communicate how their child was murdered to other family members and friends,” said Mdhluli.

ALSO READ: EFF says Hillary Gardee’s head had bullet wound, accuses police of incompetence

Mdhluli said the police did not have to reveal developments in their investigation.   

“The investigation on the circumstances of how the victim was murdered is underway with a view to arrest whoever is involved. The police in Mpumalanga are at no stage going to reveal the stages of the investigation to the public but to the relevant family,” he said.

Police are “requesting space to investigate this gruesome murder without any disturbances,” added Mdhuli.

Tambo also alleged that the crime scene was now contaminated and could not be recreated by the police.

“[The police] now can’t recreate that crime scene, they haven’t located cartridges, they don’t know what happened in terms of that location there,” said Tambo.

“This sheds a very concerning light on whether the police are taking this matter seriously.”