Gardee case postponed as fourth suspect not in court
Suspect booked to appear in another court for a different matter
There was drama in the Nelspruit magistrate's court with the state asking for a postponement to add a fourth suspect in the Hillary Gardee murder case and amend an indictment which was supposed to be served on the accused on Monday.
But the defence would not have it, accusing the state of playing dirty tricks.
Last week, defence lawyer Adv Ncobizitha Mlilo called for the court to subpoena police regarding a confession allegedly made by the fourth suspect, Hlabirwa Rasie Nkune, which he believes will exonerate his clients, Philemon Lukhele and Albert Gama.
The other accused is Sipho Mkhatshwa.
“Your Worship, I was made aware of a fourth suspect in the matter,” said state prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni.
“I was also made aware that the accused could not be brought to this court because when he was arrested he was out on parole and his parole has since been revoked and he is in the hands of correctional services.
“The accused has been booked to appear in Delmas for another matter and could not be transported to be here on the same day. That means the indictment needs to be amended as we add the [other] accused on this matter.
“We therefore request for a postponement for a day or two to amend the indictment and also for the accused to appear in this court on Wednesday,” said Mpolweni.
However, Mlilo called for the court to strike the case off the roll or force the state to hand over the indictment.
“The state is playing dirty tricks. We will not allow a further postponement on this matter because the reason we are here [in court] was for the state to hand over the indictment.
“In another court, the state said they were not aware of a fourth suspect arrested. We request this court not to grant the postponement but strike the matter off the roll or force the state to do what we came here to do today.
“The state is playing tricks, they have nothing. Like I said, there's something stinking here [and] it's worse now,” Mlilo said.
Mkhatshwa's defence lawyer Adv Sakhile Nkosi also called for the matter to be struck from the roll.
Magistrate Eddie Hall granted a postponement to September 9.
Gardee, the daughter of former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, went missing on April 29. Her body was found on May 3, about 60km outside Mbombela.
Nkune has been linked to the killings of three other women, including one from Midrand, Johannesburg, whom he met on Facebook. The killing happened last week.
Nkune has also been accused of killing his girlfriend Pretty Mazibuko and her policewoman sister, Marcia, in Kanyamazane, Mbombela, on May 15, just 12 days after Gardee’s body was found.
The double murder case was postponed to September.
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