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Hillary Gardee’s ID book found dumped 6 months after her murder

Hillary Gardee's ID book was found on Thursday, exactly three months after her body was found in a plantation outside Mbombela.
Hillary Gardee's ID book was found on Thursday, exactly three months after her body was found in a plantation outside Mbombela.
Image: Twitter/ @GardeeGodrich

Hillary Gardee’s identity document was found torn and discarded on Thursday, exactly six months after her body was found in a timber plantation outside Mbombela in Mpumalanga.  

Taking to social media, her father, Godrich Gardee, who is former secretary general of the EFF, shared a picture of the document lying in grass. 

“A good citizen called us on November 3 to pick up the remains of the ID book at a school 100km from where we got her body on May 3,” Gardee said. 

He said the ID book was found near Portia Shabangu Secondary School.

The school was named after Shabangu, who was shot dead by apartheid police hit squad leader Eugene de Kock in Swaziland in 1989.

Besides the significance of Shabangu being murdered like Hillary, Gardee pointed out something he claimed was significant about the find. 

“The place [where the ID was found] is next to the house of the girlfriend of a suspect [arrested for Hillary’s murder]. A woman and her sister were [allegedly] killed a week later by the same suspect,” Gardee said.

Gardee was referring to the Mazibuko sisters, Pretty and Marcia, who were both allegedly killed by Hlabirwa Rassie Nkuna. He was believed to have been dating Pretty when he allegedly murdered the siblings on May 15, two weeks after Hillary was killed.

Hlabirwa Rassie Nkuna, 36, is accused of killing Hillary Gardee and three other women.
Hlabirwa Rassie Nkuna, 36, is accused of killing Hillary Gardee and three other women.
Image: Supplied

Shortly after his arrest, Nkuna is alleged to have given a confession statement in which he admitted to killing Gardee. 

Hillary was kidnapped in Mbombela on April 29 following a shopping trip with her three-year-old adopted daughter. The child had been left in the street a short distance from her home and was found by passersby. She had not been harmed. 

Prior to Nkuna’s arrest, three other men — Albert Gama, Philemon Lukhele and Sipho Mkhatshwa — were arrested for Hillary’s murder. They remain behind bars. 

The trial of the four accused of Hillary’s murder is due to resume on November 10.

Nkuna also stands accused of murdering another Nonkululeko Nkosi from Midrand, who he allegedly met for a date after connecting via Facebook. According to the charge sheet, Nkuna met her in Benoni on August 6. He allegedly took her to Sundra, near Delmas, against her will. She was immobilised with a taser and strangled. He allegedly drove off with her Mercedes.

The Gardee family is suing minister of correctional services Ronald Lamola for R18m.

In a letter of demand the family’s legal representative, MM Mashele Attorneys, addressed to Lamola, the Gardees are accusing his department of failing to keep Nkuna behind bars despite allegations that he had violated his parole conditions for almost two years after he was released from prison in 2019. 

Family lawyer Makhakheni Mashele said Nkuna was facing 10 cases, including armed robberies, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and absconding from parole management.

PODCAST | Hillary Gardee’s aunt talks about her disappearance and murder

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