Fourth suspect arrested in connection with Hillary Gardee’s murder

The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga has confirmed the arrest of a fourth suspect in connection with the murder of Hillary Gardee.

Mpumalanga police commissioner Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela said the police had been looking for the suspect for some time and he was finally arrested in Gauteng on Thursday night.

According to Manamela, the suspect confessed to the murder of Gardee.

“We were looking for this person and information went through last week after he was linked with another murder of a woman. He was arrested in Gauteng on Thursday night. We recovered a firearm that he was in possession of. He confessed to killing three other women including two who were killed last month, one of which was a police officer. We’re dealing with a man who is very brutal and heartless,” Manamela told Newzroom Afrika.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has welcomed the arrest of the fourth suspect, saying it will help bring peace to the Gardee family.

According to the party, the arrest is a testament that Hillary’s spirit is not resting, and she is fighting to ensure that those who took her life face the necessary consequences.

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“The EFF commends the law enforcement agencies which have been able to track and apprehend this suspect, and calls on them to treat all matters of gender-based violence with the same urgency. We reiterate the call by president Julius Malema to continue fighting against gender-based violence in all spheres of South African society, to ensure women and children do not live in a permanent state of fear. The EFF will continue to provide support to the Gardee family and we will remain an anchor and pillar of strength as they continue to grapple with the loss of their daughter,” said the party in a statement.

The suspect joins three other suspects – Philemon Lukhele, Sipho Lawrence Mkatshwa and Albert Mduzuzi Gama – who are facing charges of murder, rape, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and possession of illegal firearms.

Gardee went missing at the Nelspruit Plaza on 29 April. The 28-year-old’s body was found on 3 May in a timber plantation about 40km outside Mbombela.

Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

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