Defence in Gardee case raised concerns over alleged death threats

Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo representing accused number 2 and 3 in the matter has told the court that on Tuesday after proceedings - he was warned by the said political party members that they would do anything and even kill for Hillary Gardee.

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.

NELSPRUIT - The defence in the Hillary Gardee murder case has raised concern over threats allegedly received from members of a particular political party - claiming that the case will end in tears and there will be graves.

Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo representing accused number 2 and 3 in the matter has told the court that on Tuesday after proceedings - he was warned by the said political party members that they would do anything and even kill for Hillary Gardee.

Mlilo made these statements during the bail application of his clients Philemon Lukhele and Albert Gama who are co-accused with Sipho Mkhatshwa.

Gardee’s body was found in May four days after she went missing in Mpumalanga this year.

The three men have since been arrested in connection with her killing.

The Nelspruit Magistrates Court has witnessed yet another day of revelations - this time from the defence council.

Lukhele and Gama - who had previously abandoned their bail bid - formally put in their application with reasons on Wednesday.

Gama - who is an employee at Lukhele’s guesthouse, where Gardee is believed to have been kidnapped - brought his wife to take the stand and testify in his defence.

Ruth Mdluli cited health concerns and mentioned that Gama was a father of two as motivation for his release.

Following Advocate Mlilo’s claims of threats, the magistrate advised him to take the matter to the police.

Another aspect that emerged from Wednesday's proceedings was when Mlilo indicated that he planned to subpoena former Economic Freedom Fighters secretary general Godrich Gardee, who is the father of the 28- year-old victim.

However, the defence refused to divulge any further information in relation to the subpoena.

The matter will return to the same court on 8 August where these issues will be ventilated including the bail hearings of accused 2 and 3.