Accused in Hillary Gardee case describes how he was allegedly tortured by police after he was arrested

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One of the men accused of the murder of Hillary Gardee has described to the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, how he was allegedly tortured and left bleeding profusely.

Mduduzi Gama took the witness stand and told the court that police allegedly suffocated, electrocuted and kicked him after he was arrested. Gama and his co-accused, Philemon Lukhele, are applying for bail.

Gama, Lukhele, and Sipho Mkhatshwa were arrested for the murder of Hillary Gardee.

Gardee, the daughter of Economic Freedom Fighters former Secretary-General Godrich Gardee was found dead in a timber plantation in April, a few days after being reported missing.

The suspects are facing charges of murder, kidnapping, rape, defeating the ends of justice and conspiracy to commit murder.

The court heard how police reportedly tortured 52-year-old Gama for hours to produce the firearm used to shoot Hillary Gardee.

Gama described his ordeal in court in his bid to be released on bail.

“They suffocated me with a plastic bag, kicked [me] all over the body and electrocuted me and I couldn’t feel my legs.”

Earlier, his legal representative Nqobizitha Mlilo requested the court to explain the accused’s charges in detail and also clarify the additional charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

The state told Mlilo that the charges are explicit as detailed in the court papers. Apparently, the three suspects were overheard planning to eliminate a witness while in police custody.

Three weeks ago, the Nelspruit Court denied Mkhatshwa bail. Gama and Lukhele’s bail hearing is expected to resume on Thursday.

Meanwhile, police have confirmed the arrest of a fourth and fifth suspect in Gardee’s murder.


The suspect is yet to appear in court.