Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
7 May 2022
8:22 am

Hillary Gardee laid to rest

Citizen Reporter

Hillary Gardee's friends and family gathered at Church On The Hill in Kamagugu, Nelspruit on Saturday morning to lay her to rest.

Hillary Gardee's friends and family have gathered at Church On The Hill in Kamagugu, Nelspruit for her funeral. Picture: Twitter/@EFFSouthAfrica

Following news of the arrest of a suspect in connection with her murder, Hillary Gardee’s friends and family have gathered at Church On The Hill in Kamagugu, Nelspruit to lay her to rest.

Mpumalanga provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela announced on Saturday morning that a breakthrough had been made on Friday by the police in connection with Gardee’s murder. 

“Up to so far, we managed to arrest one male suspect at Schoemansdal in Nkomazi within the 72-hours that we were given. We believe that we have the right suspect and we are looking forward to [making] more arrests as the investigation continues,” said Lieutenant Manamela in a statement. 

Hillary was the daughter of former EFF secretary-general and attorney, Godrich Gardee.

EFF reacts to news of arrest 

Speaking to the media on behalf of the Gardee family on Friday evening, EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo welcomed the arrest and commended the police for being able to meet their own deadline. 

He also said Gardee’s family and the party appreciate the effort put into the investigation by police, adding that they believe no arrest would have been made had the police not had valid reason to believe his connection to the crime based on the evidence at their disposal. 

Watch Hillary Gardee’s funeral:

Communicating a message from Gardee’s father, Thambo added that he wished for the opportunity to ask the suspect directly why he took Hillary’s life. 

The party said that they would await the suspect’s court appearance and respect the processes of the law in the ongoing investigation.

Hillary’s body was found in the Ehlanzeni District in the Sabie area just outside Mbombela, four days after she was reported missing.

The 28-year-old was last seen on Friday at Spar Supermarket in Mbombela wearing a black top and black trousers.

She was with her adopted three-year-old daughter when she was abducted. The child was found unharmed. 

According to Lieutenant Manamela, “the team showed dedication and worked relentlessly where they spent sleepless nights for days without being distracted from their goal which was to crack the murder case.”

ALSO READ: Suspect arrested in connection with Hillary Gardee’s murder

On Friday evening, they found the 39-year-old suspect hiding Schoemansdal, a settlement situated 16 km west of Louis Trichardt in Mpumalanga.

She commended the team responsible for the arrest for being able to work under the pressure of the public scrutiny linked to this case. 

“The male suspect is facing a murder charge and more charges could be added against him as the investigation proceeds. He is expected to appear before the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 9 May 2022.”

Police are adamant that more arrests could be made in connection with the case.