Wife Of Accused In Hillary Gardee Murder Begs Court To Grant Him Bail.. The wife of one of the men implicated in the murder of the daughter of the EFF’s former secretary-general, Godrich Gardee, on Wednesday pleaded with the Mbombela (Nelspruit) magistrate’s court to release him on bail, saying the family was suffering in his absence.
“We have nothing, we are suffering. Please grant him bail,” said Thandiwe Mdluli, the wife of Albert Mduduzi Gama.
Gama and co-accused Philemon Lukhele on Wednesday launched a fresh bail bid.
The third accused, Sipho Mkhatshwa, had embarked on a separate bail bid which is yet to be finalised.
The trio were arrested in May shortly after Hillary Gardee’s body was found dumped at a plantation outside Mbombela. She had been kidnapped several days earlier, then shot execution style.
Mdluli told the court the family were suffering financially since Gama’s arrest as he is the sole breadwinner. She said if granted bail he would stay at her family home in KaNyamazane, where she lives with her two children and grandchild.
Gama was working as a security guard at Lukhele’s guest house which served as a student residence. It was here police found bloodstains which they believed belonged to Gardee.
Mdluli said Gama usually visited her and the children over weekends when he was not working. Since his incarceration, they are in financial distress.
But state prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni put it to her that even if Gama was to be granted bail, he no longer had employment.
“It’s public knowledge that the University of Mpumalanga has terminated its contract so there are no longer any students there,” Mpolweni said.
Mdluli said even if he is unemployed, it’s easier for men to find odd jobs.
Gama was scheduled to take the stand after Mdluli but proceedings were halted for the court to find an isiZulu interpreter.
The case was postponed to August 8 for the court to secure the services of an interpreter.
Earlier, Gama and Lukhele’s legal representative, Nqobizitha Mlilo, told the court he had received threats from some members and leaders of a certain political party. He didn’t name the party.
“Leaders of a political grouping told me and the brother of accused 2 that it will end in tears. They said there will be graves and that they will do anything, [even] kill, for Hillary Gardee. [They said] they are trained to kill and they will kill,” Mlilo told the court.
Magistrate Patrick Morris advised Mlilo to open a criminal case with the police, but Mlilo maintained he wanted to put it on record what he was being subjected to.
Speaking to Sowetanlive after the proceedings, the EFF, which has supported the family during proceedings and staged protests outside court, expressed their views on Mlilo’s allegations.
“As the magistrate said, he must go to the police station to open a case. This thing is quite emotional, it’s not a friendship. A life was lost here,” said provincial leader Collen Sedibe.
Sedibe denied the allegations, adding that there were a lot of people outside court and the comments could have been uttered by anyone. He said they were happy that the three were still in custody and would be happier if they failed to secure bail.