Hillary Gardee: Man who allegedly confessed to murder faces seven charges

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Rassie Hlabirwa Nkune in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court.
Rassie Hlabirwa Nkune in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court.
Ntwaagae Seleka
  • A man who allegedly confessed to the Hillary Gardee murder case has appeared in the Mbombela Magistrate's Court.
  • Rassie Nkune was charged with her murder.
  • The National Prosecuting Authority believes police have arrested the right person.

The man who allegedly confessed to murdering Hillary Gardee appeared in the Mbombela Magistrate's Court on seven charges.

Rassie Hlabirwa Nkune, initially named as Nkuna, briefly appeared while police and correctional services warders guarded him.

Dressed in a grey tracksuit with black and white sneakers, he listened to the rights Magistrate Martin Morris informed him of.

Nkune chose Legal Aid representation.

He is in custody after allegedly violating parole conditions in another matter.

He told the court that he had a previous conviction for possession of an unlicensed firearm, which dates back to 2015 in Benoni.

Nkune claimed he was sentenced to four years of correctional supervision.

However, News24 established that he was sentenced in the Benoni Magistrate's Court in 2015 to eight years behind bars for possession of an unlicensed firearm, four of which were suspended.

READ | Hillary Gardee murder: Fifth suspect linked to the case released without appearing in court

He told Morris that he was in custody for a murder case in the Kanyamazane Magistrate's Court and for another murder case in the Delmas Magistrate's Court.

He did not intend to lodge a bail application, the court heard.

Morris told Nkune that in the Mbombela case, he faced charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, rape, defeating the ends of justice, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

The National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Mpumalanga spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, said the State had a strong case against Nkune. 

Hillary Gardee
Hillary Gardee.
Facebook

"We studied the docket and found enough evidence linking Nkune with the offence committed. There is sufficient evidence. There is sufficient information revealing how the accused is linked to the case.

"I am not going to divulge contents of the docket. We have more evidence linking him to the other three suspects who have repeatedly appeared in court," Nyuswa said. Nyuswa added that the NPA was not under any political pressure from EFF.

"The NPA is treating this matter like all others brought to its attention. We are guided by the evidence provided to us by the police. The relationship between the NPA and the investigating officer is good. Before Nkune was brought to court, the docket was brought to the NPA, which led to this case enrolled," Nyuswa said.

READ | Hillary Gardee case: Lawyer wants police commissioner, spokesperson to testify on alleged confession

It is alleged on 15 May, Nkune killed Marcia Mazibuko and Pretty Mazibuko in Kanyamazane. 

On 6 August, he allegedly used social media to lure Nonkululeko Crystal Nkosi to Sundra. He allegedly tortured and strangled her, before dumping her in a ditch. Nkune later fled in her Mercedes-Benz, which was later abandoned, it is alleged.

Nkosi died in hospital after pointing Nkune out as her attacker.

Confession 

Nkune was arrested on 11 August in KwaThema, Springs.

During his arrest, he allegedly confessed to Gardee's murder.

Meanwhile, Philemon Lukhele, Albert Gama and Sipho Mkhatshwa have appeared in court on numerous occasions for Gardee's murder.

Mkhatshwa was denied bail. The bail application by Gama and Lukhele is expected to resume on 2 September.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
22% - 2159 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
30% - 2904 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
48% - 4693 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.36
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
21.08
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
18.14
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.61
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.3%
Gold
1,772.67
+0.1%
Silver
22.29
+0.4%
Palladium
1,881.00
+1.6%
Platinum
987.50
-0.4%
Brent Crude
79.35
-4.2%
Top 40
67,955
-0.7%
All Share
74,129
-0.6%
Resource 10
73,309
-0.9%
Industrial 25
90,881
-0.6%
Financial 15
15,655
-0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE