Three suspects; Sipho Mkhatshwa, Philemon Lukhele and Mduduzi Nkala appeared at the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the murder of Hillary Gardee.
The three men have been charged with Conspiracy for murder, kidnapping, rape, murder, possession of firearm and defeating the ends of justice.
WHO IS PHILEMON LUKHELE?
In a statement released on Sunday, 8 May, Eswatini’s main opposition party, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), confirmed that one of its members was arrested in connection with the murder of Gardee, 28.
“PUDEMO has noted with concern the arrest of its member in connection with the murder of Hillary Gardee, the daughter of former EFF secretary-general comrade Godrich Gardee,” said the party’s secretary-general, Wandile Dludlu
Philemon Lukhele is a 39-year-old is an ANC member in Mpumalanga. He has been working for the ANC in the province for over 15 years.
Lukhele is popularly known as Mhlabundzima in the political space.
He is an ANC Senior Researcher in the Office of the Chief Whip in Mpumalanga.
Lukhele was reportedly arrested at his guest house in West Acres and it is believed that it is where Hillary Gardee was killed. His car was also reportedly used to dump the body.
Philemon is an exiled Swazi who is a member of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO).
According to the EFF, Lukhele, asked to send condolences to the Gardee family, claiming to know the family personally.
The suspects abandoned their application and the matter was postponed to 9 June 2022 for further investigation.