Exiled PUDEMO man and also ANC Researcher at the Mpumalanga legislature Philemon Lukhele has detailed how he was beaten to a pulp by the police and told to link Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) Deputy President Floyd Shivambu to the murder to Gordich Gardee´s daughter.

 Even more shocking is a new lawsuit filed by Godrich Gardee, the EFF International Secretary and also father to slain Hillary Gardee, where he accused the state of releasing the ‘real’ killer, Hlabirwa Rassie Nkuna on parole. Gardee has instructed his lawyers to write to Minister of Justice Ramold Lamola where he is demanding R18 Million as compensation for losing his daughter.

Gardee has instructed lawyers from MM Mashele Attorneys to demand compensation for the pain they have gone through as a family following the death of their daughter. "The parolee was arrested for an alleged rape offence and subsequently the case was withdrawn, however, your department did not press charges for violating his parole conditions for such a longest time and as such equivalent to escape from lawful custody.

If the parolee had been charged for abscondment and violation of his parole conditions when he was later arrested and released for an unrelated charge, he would have been released sometimes in 2023, and the late Hillary Gardee would not have been his victim, causing the Gardee family so much grief," reads the letter of demand written by Gardee attorneys.

The man who confessed to killing Hillary Gardee

Gardee then goes on to make a number of demands which include "an apology from the Minister of Correctional Services, payment for general damages (pain and suffering, trauma and shock) and special damages (funeral costs, tombstone and incidental events) as a result of the brutal murder of their beloved daughter in the amount of R2 000 000 (Two Million Rand) each for nine (9) family members whose particulars shall be availed on request." Gardee claims as a family they endured a gruesome five days sleepless nights in an expensive search and rescue effort and praying together all days and nights hopeful for the return of their loved one unharmed but in vain.

He then charges that his family spent a fortune on funeral expenses from day of body discovery to the aftermath of the funeral including traditional cleansing ceremony and tombstone in the future. Meanwhile, Lukhele has told the court in his bail hearing that he is innocent and that he had lost everything based on lies. He also alleged that police had tortured him while in custody and forced him to link Shivambu to the killing of Gardee because he (Gardee) was unhappy that Shivambu had engineered his removal as Secretary General of the party.

Lukhele´s Insika guest house in Nelspruit was torched by unknown arsonists a few months back while his membership to the ANC was terminated and his contract with the University of Mpumalanga to provide accommodation for students was equally terminated. Lukhele told the court this week during his bail hearing that he was innocent and that the state had began to drop some charges and moving the crime scene from his guest house to somewhere else. He also said the state had began to drop some charges yet are refusing to release him. The Bridge understands that the state wants to drop the abduction and rape charges against Lukhele. 

The late Hillary Gardee

Hlabirwa Rassie Nkuna (36), the man who allegedly confessed to killing Hillary Gardee, has claimed that he worked alone and that he had no knowledge of the accused. Nkuna faces multiple charges of murder, including the killing of two other woman. News24 has already reported that that he confessed to the Mpumalanga police during his arrest in August that he fired the fatal shot that killed Gardee. Nkuna made his first appearance in the packed Delmas Magistrate's Court where he is facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, possession of an unlicenced firearm and ammunition.He is also facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances murder and unlicensed firearm.

Nkuna was on the police’s wanted list for allegedly killing three women and finally got caught in KwaThema, Springs on 11 August. Nkuna was wanted for killing two sisters, Pretty Mazibuko and Marcia Mazibuko on 15 May in Kanyamazane outside Nelspruit. The state has already charged Lukhele, Albert Gama and Sipho Makhatshwa with the Gardee murder.