The Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga has again postponed the bail hearing of two of the three men accused of the murder of Hillary Gardee. Philemon Lukhele and Mduduzi Gama’s legal representative requested the postponement to be able to prepare to subpoena the provincial police leadership.
Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo believes that the testimony of the police will help exonerate his clients. Lukhele, Gama, and their co-accused Sipho Mkhatshwa are facing charges of kidnapping, rape, murder, defeating the ends of justice and conspiracy to commit murder.
The bail hearing of Lukhele and Gama was brief. Advocate Mlilo wants to subpoena Provincial Police Commissioner Daphney Manamela and Spokesperson Selvy Mohlala before the bail hearing can continue.
Mlilo says the police should clarify reports of arrests of two more suspects in the Hillary Gardee murder case. He says the police announced that one of the suspects confessed to killing Gardee.
Bail hearing in Gardee murder postponed:
“The provincial commissioner and we also want to subpoena to come and deal with this preliminary issue. In that request we would like to play the footage that we are referring to and also that they must testify to the existence or otherwise of this statement. We respectfully emphasise that our clients’ rights to fair trial are important. I made a point in the last appearance and I respectfully reinstate that issue. And I’m making reference to Shakespeare “something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
Reporter Tumelo Machogo explains what happened in court on Thursday:
The two suspects are yet to appear in court. Police announced last week that they have arrested a 36-year-old man in Springs, Gauteng, and that he had confessed to the killing. The suspect appeared at the KaNyamazane Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for the alleged murder of siblings in May.
Prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni says the state is not aware of any confession statement made by suspects arrested recently in the Gardee case.
“Previously this court was advised that the deceased father will be subpoenaed so, well it’s within their rights to do so. But what I want to make clear is that I have never addressed the court and said that the statement does not exist. My argument is that as far as the state or the National Prosecuting Authority is concerned, we have no knowledge of that statement, so that there is no confusion in future that the state denied the existence of the statement.”
The case against the fifth suspect was provisionally withdrawn. The National Prosecuting Authority wants the police to obtain an expert statement linking the suspect to the crime. He allegedly used Gardee’s electronic gadgets after her murder.
Lukhele and Gama’s bail hearing has been postponed to 2 September.