Two suspects in Hillary Gardee’s murder case to make new bail applications

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Two of the four suspects in the murder of Hillary Gardee are expected to make new bail applications at the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court in Mbombela in Mpumalanga.

Sipho MKhatshwa, Philemon Lukhele, Mduduzi Gama and Rassie Nkune are facing charges that include kidnapping, murder, rape, defeating the ends of justice and conspiracy to commit murder.

Previously, the court had denied bail to Mkhatshwa and Gama, Lukhele abandoned his bail application while Nkune did not apply.

They were arrested after Gardee’s body was found in a timber plantation a few kilometres outside Mbombela in April. She had been reportedly missing few days earlier.

Spokesperson of the National Prosecutions Authority in Mpumalanga, Monica Nyuswa says, ” The National Prosecuting Authority can confirm that Sipho Mkhatshwa together with Philemon Lukhele will be bringing a bail application on new facts before the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court, this after the pair were denied bail last month.”

Mduduzi Gama bail application

Handing down judgment on the bail application of Mduduzi Gama last month, Magistrate Patrick Morris said he failed to prove that it is in the interest of justice to release him on bail. Magistrate Morris further stated that Gama’s life would be in danger should he be granted bail.

“The applicant did not prove on the balance of probabilities that exist which is in the interest of justice permitting his release. The court also took into consideration that the life of applicant is going to be in danger if the court grants him bail. House number two Belladonna Street was set alight after the arrest of accused number two and this applicant. The legal representative placed on record that they were threatened, so the court is of the view that the bail must be refused.”

Morris said the state has a strong case against Gama.

“Now the applicant told this court that he suffers from hypertension since his incarceration but he never submitted any medical proof. And he also mentions on record that he received medical treatment in prison and his hypertension is under control. Now according to this court, this reason by the applicant does not constitute exceptional circumstances. The court is off the view that the state has a strong case against the accused.”

VIDEO: In August, one of the accused in the Hillary Gardee murder case denied bail: