South Africa

MBOMBELA

Suspect arrested in Hillary Gardee kidnapping and murder case – 013News

Hillary Gardee. (Facebook)

A high-level multidisciplinary task team swooped on a popular Mbombela guesthouse just after 7pm on Friday and made one arrest.

Police have made a breakthrough in the kidnapping and murder case of the slain daughter of former EFF Secretary-General Godrich Gardee, Hillary Gardee.

013NEWS can exclusively reveal that the multidisciplinary task team swooped on a guesthouse in Mbombela just after 7pm on Friday and raided the house for forensic evidence. The name of the guesthouse is known to O13 NEWS.

The breakthrough in the case comes exactly 72 hours after police activated a 72 hours action plan to hunt for the murderer.

Sources told the 013NEWS reporter that at least one person connected to the guesthouse was questioned about his whereabouts last Friday and Saturday.  The man’s identity, which is known to 013NEWS, cannot be revealed at this point.

Hillary Gardee, a 28-year-old IT graduate, was abducted from the Nelspruit Plaza Spar at around 5pm on Friday, 29 April 2022. Passers-by found her lifeless body several days later at the edge of a forest on a deserted stretch of the Sabie road.

She was laid to rest on Saturday.

“They questioned him because they believe his car was involved in the crime, but apparently he wasn’t around Mbombela on those days,” the source said.

According to the source who was at the scene, police believe Hillary Gardee was murdered at the guesthouse before her body was driven out to be dumped along Sabie Road.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela visited the Gardee home just before 11pm on Friday to deliver the news to the family. 

Addressing the media outside the family home, Manamela said a suspect aged between 30 and 40 years had been arrested, and more arrests were expected soon.

Family spokesperson Sinawo Thambo welcomed the breakthrough “even though it was at such a late hour”. 

Manamela would not be drawn into divulging more information about the arrested suspect or those who are of interest to the police investigation. 

“The suspect will appear in court on Monday and I’m sure everyone who has an interest in his identity will find out the,” said Manamela. DM

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