Accused in Hillary Gardee murder Philemon Lukhele suspended from Mpumalanga Legislature

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The Office of the Chief Whip of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature has suspended Philemon Lukhele, who is one of the accused in the Hillary Gardee murder case.

Lukhele has been suspended without pay pending an internal disciplinary hearing. He and Sipho Mkhwatshwa and Albert Gama are facing six charges including kidnapping, rape, murder, defeating the ends of justice, and conspiracy to commit murder.

They allegedly killed Hillary, the daughter of former Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) secretary-general Godrich Gardee.

ANC’s Provincial Chief Whip, Fidel Mlombo, says he has engaged with Lukhele and they agreed that these allegations have put the office of the Chief Whip into disrepute.

Mlombo says, “As an office of the Chief Whip, we regard these charges as very serious, hence we have decided to suspend him with immediate effect and this suspension is a suspension without pay.”

“He is expected during the time of the suspension not to visit the office, not interact with the employees and also to surrender all working tools that are in fact given to him. He agreed with me that these charges are very serious, these charges have the office of the Chief Whip in disrepute,” says Mlombo.

Suspects in Hillary Gardee murder case to appear in court:

NPA confident of a strong case against suspects in Hillary Gardee’s murder case

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it has a strong case against the three suspects who appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday in the murder case of 28-year-old Hillary Gardee.

The three accused abandoned their bail application and will be back in court on June 9, 2022.

Meanwhile, one of the suspects is said to be a member of Eswatini’s People United Democratic Movement (Pudemo).

Pudemo has also suspended Lukhele who is implicated in the case of Hillary Gardee.

EFF leadership addressed crowds outside the court: