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Hillary Gardee found dead, says ‘heartbroken’ EFF

Police have opened a murder inquiry

03 May 2022 - 12:01
Hillary Gardee, 28, has been found dead, the family has confirmed.
Hillary Gardee, 28, has been found dead, the family has confirmed.
Image: Hillary Gardee via Facebook

Postgraduate student Hillary Gardee, 28, the daughter of former EFF secretary-general and attorney Godrich Gardee who disappeared four days ago, has been found dead.

EFF spokesperson Sinawo Tambo, speaking on behalf of the Gardee family, told TimesLIVE her body was found on Tuesday morning about 60km from where she disappeared in Mbombela on Friday.

“Information is still coming in so we don’t know for sure what happened, but it looks at this stage as though she was abducted and murdered.

“The family is obviously devastated and they are asking for patience at this time. We would like to convey to everyone our thanks and gratitude for their help, support and love people have been showing,” Tambo said.

This heartbreaking news has left the Gardee family distraught and the collective leadership of the EFF at a loss for words
EFF statement

“This heartbreaking news has left the Gardee family distraught and the collective leadership of the EFF at a loss for words,” the party said.

“Her loss has left immeasurable devastation, as he [Godrich Gardee] grapples with the pain of losing a child in such a callous, cruel and inhumane manner.”

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Col Donald Mdhluli said police were called out to the scene where Gardee’s body was discovered by a group of people.

“They were on their way to work when they came across the body of a lady. She has now been identified by her family as Hillary Gardee. She was still wearing the same clothes she was in when she went missing.”

“There were some wounds on her head and police are now investigating a murder case.

“Anyone with information that may assist police in the investigation — maybe people who know who the killer is — can call the Crime Stop number at 08600-10111. Alternatively, members of the public can send information via MySaps app. All information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” said Mdhluli.

Hillary Indira Gardee was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1994, and was the attorney’s eldest daughter. She was described as an enthusiastic, kind and loving person who had a passion for information technology (IT). She was a student at the University of SA studying IT part-time while running her own business.

“Her kindness and generosity was most evident in her commitment to adopt and care for a three-year old child who, by the grace of God, was spared on the day of Hillary’s abduction. She looked after the child as if she were her own, an inspiring act for a woman of such a young age,” said the EFF.

“We send our deepest condolences and sympathies to commissar Gardee, the Gardee family and those who were close to Hillary. We mourn with the Gardee family, and will provide a helping hand to ensure her memory is preserved and she goes to her final resting place with dignity.

“May this chapter, which has ended in such an unfortunate manner, be instructive to all of us on the scourge of gender-based violence and the need to fight against the war on the women of this country.”

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