Fourth Hillary Gardee murder accused has ‘confessed to the crime’

Hlabirwa Rasie Nkuna, 36, the fourth suspect in the Hillary Gardee murder case. Picture: SAPS

Hlabirwa Rasie Nkuna, 36, the fourth suspect in the Hillary Gardee murder case. Picture: SAPS

Published Aug 16, 2022


Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane

Pretoria - The 36-year-old man arrested in connection with the murder of IT entrepreneur Hillary Gardee is believed to have confessed to police.

According to reports, during his confession Hlabirwa Rasie Nkuna from Kanyamazane had told police that he was acting alone when he killed Hillary.

He reportedly confessed to using his Facebook account to prey on unsuspecting women and luring them to their deaths, which were hallmarks of a serial killer.

Nkuna yesterday abandoned his bail application when he appeared in the Delmas Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga.

According to provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, Nkuna was arrested last Thursday following information that he was involved in the murder.

“The suspect is facing various charges, including four counts of murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm with ammunition, kidnapping and robbery with aggravating circumstances. The suspect has confessed to murdering Hillary Gardee, 28.

“He will join the three suspects who were arrested in May,” Mohlala said.

Mohlala said although Nkuna was facing four counts of murder, police could not conclude that he was a serial killer.

“We cannot at this stage say whether he is a serial killer or not. Investigations are ongoing,” Mohlala said.

National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokesperson Monica Nyuswa said Nkuna did not want to apply for bail when he appeared in court.

She said his case was postponed to August 22 to allow for further police investigation.

Both Mohlala and Nyuswa failed to explain what impact Nkuna’s confession would have on the case in relation to the other suspects, Sipho Mkhatshwa, 39, Philemon Lukhele, 47, and Albert Gama, 52.

Hillary is the daughter of former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, who has since opened a law firm.

Gardee’s comrades in the EFF welcomed Nkuna’s arrest. “The arrest will bring peace to the Gardee family and is testament to the fact that Hillary’s spirit is not resting.

“She is fighting to ensure that those who took her life face the necessary consequences,” said EFF spokesperson Sinawo Thambo.

Last week Gama’s bail hearing was postponed to August 16, after magistrate Edward Horn failed to appear in court due to illness.

Gama’s bail application is expected to be heard, whether Horn returns to court or not. If he fails, a new magistrate will be placed on record to take over the application.

Meanwhile, Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo has yet to confirm the resignation of a prison official who was implicated in the smuggling of a phone to Lukhele back in May.

Lukhele has since been moved to a section of the Barberton Maximum Prison facility following the discovery of the illegal telecommunication device.

So far no one, except Lukhele, has been arrested for the cellphone saga.

Pretoria News