Hillary Gardee murder: Lukhele’s bail application postponed

December 23, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

The bail application for the murder accused in the Hillary Gardee case, Philemon Lukhele, has been postponed until January 2023 after his attorney failed to appear in court on Thursday.

The case resumed at the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, where Lukhele, murder accused number two, applied for bail this week.

Hillary Gardee murder case

Attorney, witness no-show

Lukhele’s attorney, Lesego Kwaka, and a key witness (a Home Affairs official) failed to appear before the court on Thursday.

No reasons were provided for their absence.

If the case had continued, the official would have testified on Lukhele’s movement between South Africa and eSwatini.

WATCH: New facts, case postponed

Lukhele had been living in South Africa for more than two decades and came here as an asylum seeker. He was in the process of naturalisation.

One of the other accused, Mkhatshwa, was denied bail back in August. Meanwhile, Gama was also denied bail by the same magistrate’s court in September.

At the time, the court found that he failed to prove that there were exceptional circumstances, which permitted his release on bail.

The case will resume on 6 January 2023.

Murder investigation

Gardee, former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, was reported missing on 29 April, after she went shopping with her adopted three-year-old daughter.

The toddler was later found near Gardee’s home.

Her body was found at a timber plantation near Mbombela, Mpumalanga, a few days later, on 2 May. She had a gunshot wound and other visible wounds to her head.

The murder accused (Lukhele, Rassie Nkune, Mduduzi Gama and Sipho Mkhatshwa) face charges of kidnapping, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and defeating the ends of justice.


Her torn ID book was found near the scene six months after the murder. Her father claimed his slain daughter’s ID was found near the house of Nkune’s girlfriend.

Gardee’s family reportedly also demanded R18 million from Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.

They accuse Lamola’s department of negligence in releasing Nkuna on parole while he faces 10 cases, including armed robberies.

READ MORE HERE: Hillary Gardee’s family suing minister Ronald Lamola for R18 million

Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe.