Police confident they will find Hillary Gardee’s killers within 72 hours

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Hillary Gardee. Photo: Facebook
Hillary Gardee. Photo: Facebook

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Mpumalanga police remain confident that the killers of attorney-cum-politician Godrich Gardee’s daughter, Hillary (28), will be found within 72 hours.

Police Minister Bheki Cele activated the 72-hour action plan around 6pm on Tuesday, which means the police have set themselves a deadline to find the perpetrators by Friday evening.

Hilary was reported missing on April 29 after she was last seen at Spar at the Plaza Shopping Centre in Mbombela with her three-year old daughter. The girl was later found abandoned in Kamagugu where they both lived.

Police found Hillary’s body in a timber plantation near Sabie on Tuesday. At that time Mpumalanga police spokesperson Donald Mdhluli said police found her with a wound on the head, bruises on her body and there were blood stains on the scene.

READ: Body of EFF’s former secretary Godrich Gardee’s daughter found

“However, after further investigation by our forensic team it was revealed that she was shot on her upper body,” Mdhluli said.

He has requested that the police be given space to investigate the young woman’s murder without any disturbance.

“The 72 hours has not passed and we will surely report back within the given time,” Mdhluli said.

He said provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela had assembled a formidable team of experts.

“The investigation into the circumstances of how the victim was murdered is underway with a view to arrest whosoever is involved. Mpumalanga police are not going to reveal the stages of the investigation to the public, but to the family,” he said.

According to EFF spokesperson Sinawo Tambo, Hillary was shot execution-style and there was a R1 300 cardless transaction she sent to herself during the time she was missing.

Tambo raised concern that the police had not immediately identified that she was shot.

Mdhluli said that cases of kidnapping were reported “once in a while” in the province’s police stations.

Mdhluli said the child was in good care and they hoped that social workers would get some useful information from her. The police found the child “very traumatised” on the street in Kamagugu, he said.

Police were initially looking for an adult who was with the stranded child when further information came in which clarified that it was, actually Hillary who was missing. It is alleged that the child told family members after she was found, that “mommy is fighting”.

READ: WATCH | Murdered and dumped in a timber plantation - this is where Hillary Gardee's body was discovered

Gardee posted an alert of his missing daughter on Facebook on Monday. He said: “We look forward to your assistance, good people of Africa.”

Seemingly trying to find a motive and to raise awareness, the distraught father reposted about two other cases of missing people. Gardee is the EFF’s former secretary-general. His daughter was an IT student at the University of SA and was running an IT business. 


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Sizwe sama Yende 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
sizwe.yende@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

Her funeral will be held at the Church on the Hill in Kamagugu outside Mbombela on Saturday.

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