Hillary Gardee’s family wants Hawks to probe murder due to ‘police incompetence’

A file picture of a candlelight vigil that was held for murdered Hillary Gardee. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

A file picture of a candlelight vigil that was held for murdered Hillary Gardee. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 14, 2022


Tshwarelo Hunter Mogakane

Pretoria - The family of murdered IT entrepreneur Hillary Gardee has approached the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on an urgent basis, seeking to have her case docket transferred to the Hawks due to “police incompetence”.

The father of the victim, Godrich Gardee, filed a notice of motion, arguing that the Hawks would be better placed to interview “persons of interest” on information that the family has handed over to police investigators.

According to EFF spokesperson Sinawo Thambo, police have failed to arrest other individuals suspected to have been involved in the abduction of 28-year-old Hillary.

“The application stems from numerous family efforts to assist the police, in vain, due to inexplicable reasons and dismal failures by the detective unit of the SAPS.

The three men accused of murdering Hillary Gardee in the dock during their bail application at the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

“Now that the prosecution has announced additional charges of conspiracy to murder, the case assumes all the hallmarks of an organised crime for which investigations reside in the competency of the Hawks,” said Thambo.

He said the family was being kept in the dark about the developments in the case.

“The record of delays and incompetence exhibited by the detective unit, including but not limited to the elbowing out of Crime Intelligence Services and keeping the family in the dark, is treasonous, to say the least. Accordingly, amongst the family’s requests from the court is an order compelling the transfer of the case docket to the Hawks,” he said.

The EFF stated that there was sensitive evidence relating to the other suspects that needed to be heard in camera. “The SAPS detective unit has chosen to drag their feet in the investigation of such evidence and this delay has a potential risk of evidence destruction and defeating the ends of justice. The family hopes and wishes the court grants the prayers in the court application,” said Thambo.

According to the office of provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Manamela, police were co-operating with the Gardee family.

"The Gardee family is updated very frequently through Mr Gardee regarding the progress of the case. The updates take place through both physical meetings and telephone calls," said Manamela’s spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala in a previous interview.

He said the provincial commissioner’s office had no idea what other information Gardee had on the case. “We don't know what information they have which is going to shock the public. Our investigation has not stopped since the case was registered. We are still continuing with the investigation, and should there be any new suspect(s) detected and linked, we will not hesitate to arrest them," Mohlala said.

Hillary went missing in April”.

Her body was discovered outside a plantation a mere 35 minutes away from her home in Mbombela.

Police have arrested three men in connection with her murder.

Pretoria News