Hillary Gardee murder: Witness saw two accused loading Gardee into a vehicle, court hears

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Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo consulting with one of the accused, Albert Gama.
Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo consulting with one of the accused, Albert Gama.
PHOTO: Ntwaagae Seleka, News24
  • Two of the men accused of killing Hillary Gardee were seen loading her into a vehicle.
  • It has not been confirmed whether she was dead or alive at the time.
  • She was last seen on 29 April in Nelspruit.

The Nelspruit Magistrate's Court heard that a witness saw two men loading Hillary Gardee into a vehicle.

Colonel Thamsanqa Mkhaliphi revealed this during the bail application by Albert Gama on Tuesday.

Mkhaliphi said the witness saw Gama and Philemon Lukhele loading Hillary into one of Lukhele's vehicles.

"It is unclear whether Hillary was alive or dead at the time. This is a serious offence. With the evidence we have, Gama was involved in disposing of the deceased.

"I fear for the life of the applicant (Gama). His life is at risk. The house where he and Lukhele stayed was set on fire. The witness knows Gama... He is not a flight risk. He didn't resist arrest. He cooperated with the police. There are no pending cases, warrants of arrest, or previous conditions against Gama," Mkhaliphi testified.

He said the police collected a lot of video footage of the crime scene.

"Those footages [sic] were later handed to the Hawks. Those footages don't implicate Gama. As the police, we do have our house in order on this matter... I know he has provided two alternative addresses where he could reside should he be granted bail. I don't think his release will lead to a disturbance of the peace.

"I also don't think he will jeopardise the administration of justice should he be released. I was not present when Gama was testifying in court," said Mkhaliphi.

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

The magistrate, Martin Morris, ordered Mkhaliphi to verify the addresses in KwaZulu-Natal and KaNyamazane, which Gama gave to the court last month.

During the bail application, Gama was almost in tears, shaking his head sideways.

In the public gallery, Gama's sister, Sibongile Gama, also cried. 

Sibongile was seated behind Hillary's family members.

Gama, his employer Lukhele, Sipho Mkhatshwa, and the alleged confessed murderer, Rassie Hlabirwa Nkune, are accused of kidnapping and killing Hillary.

They are facing charges of murder, rape, kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice, and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Hillary was last seen on 29 April in Nelspruit.

Her body was found on a timber plantation outside Nelspruit on 3 May.

Gama's bail hearing continues on 13 September.

Meanwhile, Gama, Lukhele, Mkhatshwa and Nkune are expected back in court on Friday.


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