Mpumalanga court hears bail application for a suspect in Hillary Gardee murder case

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Mduduzi Gama, one of the four men accused of killing Hillary Gardee will know his fate later this week. This is after the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga postponed his bail application to Friday, for judgment.

Gama appeared alongside one of his co-accused Philemon Lukhele. The duo is among the four men who have been arrested so far for the murder of Gardee.

Gardee’s lifeless body was found dumped in a timber plantation on the Sabie Road, a few kilometres outside Mbombela.

Gama and Philemon Lukhele’s legal representative, Nqobizitha Mlilo cross-examined the investigating officer in this case, Thamsanqa Mkhaliphi.

Mkhaliphi was also asked a few questions by Magistrate Patrick Morris. However, Mlilo questioned Magistrate Morris’s line of questioning and also accused him of being biased in favour of the state.

Video – Three men accused of murdering Hillary Gardee abandon bail:


Mlilo has claimed that they will formally call on Magistrate Morris to recuse himself.  However, he later said they will no longer continue with the recusal application after consulting with his clients.

“We strongly advised to proceed with this bail application given the nature of the evidence Colonel Mkhaliphi gave. And the second reason is that we indicated to them that should we proceed with the application for your recusal it will have an implication on what will happen on Friday. They have contested the innocence since the beginning and are much more interested in continuing to trial.”

Mlilo has reiterated his claim that the police arrested innocent people because they were put under pressure to make an arrest within a short period of time. He also says the state failed to clarify how his clients are involved in the murder of Gardee.

“They arrested the wrong people.  Now they are stacked instead of calling us and talking about this issue. The applicant is contending that the state wants to plant evidence and manufacture evidence that does not exist including evidence that does not exist,” added Mlilo.

However, the state prosecutor, Thobeka Phungula believes that Gama should not be granted bail. Phungula says Gama failed to prove that it is in the interest of justice to release him on bail.

“In this application that you are dealing with your worship, the state will submit that there is nothing exceptional submitted before the court. The reasons that the accused has given are reasons that any other accused person in custody or awaiting trial can simply give,” says Phangula.

The case was postponed to Friday for a bail application judgment.

Video – Bail hearing the Hillary Gardee murder case postponed