Suspects in Hillary Gardee murder case plotting to kill witness, court hears

Investigating officer colonel Thamsanqa Mkhaliphi, told the court that the trio accused of killing Gardee were overheard by several inmates to be colluding to murder the witness.

The bail application for accused number 1, Sipho Mkhatshwa, is being heard on 22 July 2022. He is joined by his two co-accused, Philemon Lukhele and Albert Gama. Picture: Mbhele Buhle/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Shocking details have emerged in the Nelspruit Magistrate Court where it has been revealed that the suspects in the Hillary Gardee murder case have been plotting to kill one of the witnesses.

Investigating officer colonel Thamsanqa Mkhaliphi, told the court that the trio accused of killing Gardee were overheard by several inmates to be colluding to murder the witness.

Mkhaliphi revealed this information during his testimony in court on Tuesday.

Three men believed to be behind the murder of former EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee's daughter have been appearing in court.

On Tuesday, accused number one Sipho Mkhatshwa continued his bail application with the investigating officer taking the stand.

Gardee’s body was found in April near a plantation between Mbombela and Sabie, four days after she had gone missing. She had stab wounds on her chest and a gunshot at the back of her head.

Two witnesses and the investigating officer took the stand on Tuesday to deliver their testimonies as the court concludes the bail bid for Mkhatshwa after several postponements.

Mkhatshwa’s first legal representative withdrew from his case mid-court proceedings. He now has a new lawyer.

On Monday, he said he was not a flight risk and therefore he should be granted bail; he has since lost his job at City of Ekurhuleni.

The bail hearing continued with Mkhaliphi and Simon Khoza taking the stand.

Mkhaliphi said the State should oppose Mkhatshwa’s bail application, citing safety concerns for the witnesses after he had been told about the plan to kill one of them.

The case continues on Wednesday.