Fourth suspect arrested in Hillary Gardee murder case ‘linked to three other killings’
Police have arrested another suspect in connection with the murder of Hillary Gardee. The 36-year-old will appear in court on Monday.
The investigation into the murder of Hillary Gardee took another twist on Thursday after police arrested a fourth suspect — who is linked to the murder of three other women.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala confirmed that the 36-year-old suspect was arrested in KwaThema in Springs on Thursday.
“The suspect will be appearing in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Monday,” said Mohlala.
Mpumalanga police commissioner Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela, speaking to eNCA on Friday, said the suspect was a possible serial killer who had been linked to the murders of three other women.
“We arrested the fourth suspect in the Hillary Gardee case on Thursday; we have been looking for him ever since the three suspects were arrested. I must say the very same suspect is the suspect that we have been looking for in the murder that happened last Saturday, he is also linked with another two murders. So we were looking for a serial killer,” she said.
“We were following information with our investigators and the information led us to him last night,” she said.
Hillary Gardee, a 28-year-old IT graduate and the daughter of EFF politician Godrich Gardee, was abducted from the Nelspruit Plaza Spar on 29 April. Passers-by found her body several days later at the edge of a forest near the Sabie/Lydenburg Road.
Three suspects, Sipho Mkhatshwa, Philemon Lukhele and Albert Gama were originally arrested for Gardee’s murder. Mkhatshwa’s bail application was denied, while Lukhele and Gama are expected to apply for bail in September.
The EFF commended the law enforcement agencies that tracked and apprehended the fourth suspect and called on the police to treat all matters of gender-based violence with the same urgency.
The party said the arrest would help bring peace to the Gardee family and was a testament that Hillary’s spirit was fighting to ensure that those who took her life faced the necessary consequences.
“EFF will continue to provide support to the Gardee family and we will remain an anchor and pillar of strength as they continue to grapple with the loss of their daughter,” read the statement.
The EFF reiterated the call by its leader, Julius Malema, to continue fighting against gender-based violence in all spheres of South African society. DM