The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the family of 28-year-old Hillary Gardee have called on the Police Minister Bheki Cele to give them facts and not speculation about her murder.
They say the police and the public should also refrain from fuelling more speculation on the motive for Gardee’s murder.
Cele says law enforcement is still probing why this happened. Speculation is rife about the identities of the three men arrested for the murder of the daughter of the EFF former secretary-general Godrich Gardee.
“At this stage, we can’t give much clarity into motive other than the general speculation that’s been happening, I think we must caution Cele from adding into the fuel of speculation because he’s dramatising this tragedy, he’s creating rumour mongering and speculation and suspense. We’re in shock, we are in mourning, let us get concrete, logic, and reasons as to what the motive was for kidnapping gang-raping, and murdering Hillary Gardee, not give us political or economic motives. Let’s get the crux of the matter on the table, not make us speculate, wonder, and imagine what motives may have been,” says EFF and the Gardee family spokesperson Sinawo Thambo.
The party says nothing can comfort the Gardee family at this stage. Members of Gardee’s family say the gruesomeness of her tragic murder has only dawned on them now.
She was buried in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, at the weekend.
Hillary Gardee’s funeral service:
The three men accused of Hillary Gardee’s murder, Sipho Mkhatshwa, Philemon Lukhele, and Albert Gama appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
“I don’t think there’s any measure of relief that can be had in a situation like this, I mean of course we want justice to be served and we want it served swiftly but what happened to Hilary is extremely gruesome. She went through an unspeakable amount of torture and I think today that all dawned on us. It’s going to affect all of us, as we go to our personal isolation and going to our homes. Hilary Gardee was tortured for days, kidnapped, her daughter was thrown out of a moving vehicle, she was raped repeatedly. They kept her alive in order to torment her and then she was beaten, stabbed across the breast, and shot in the back of her head,” says EFF and Gardee family spokesperson Sinawo Tambo.
Meanwhile, The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) in the Kingdom of eSwatini says its immediate suspension of its member Philimon Lukhele is a clear indication that the movement is against gender-based violence.
Lukhele is one of the suspects in the case.
“As an organisation we stand vehemently opposed to any form of gender-based violence, to any form of femicide directed to women and children. We have taken a decision with immediate effect to suspend the membership of Lukhele until such time it is clear what happened but most importantly we call for justice to be done, we call for the maximum possible sentence for all those who may have been involved in this commission of the heinous crime,” says PUDEMO President Mlungisi Makhanya.