Hillary Gardee: Sipho Mkhatswa tells court he needs to go back to work

One of the suspects in the murder case of Hillary Gardee told the Nelspruit Magistrate Court that he did not kill Hillary Gardee.

Friday, damning evidence is expected to be heard when the investigating officer in the Hillary Gardee murder case takes to the stand. Mkhatswa Began his testimony on Thursday, pleading not guilty to all charges. He claimed that he is innocent.

The victim’s body was found dumped on a gravel road next 40km outside Mbombela on May 3, a week after she was reported missing. 

She was kidnapped as she was going back home after shopping with her adopted three-year-old daughter at Nelspruit Plaza.

The accused appeared on Thursday after previously abandoning his bail application with his two co-accused Albert Gama and suspended ANC employee Philimon Lukhele in May.

The trio is facing additional charges of conspiracy to commit murder and the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition after they were initially charged, with rape, kidnaping, defeating the ends of justice and murder.

It is also alleged that they have planned her murder between January and April.

Last week Tuesday, Mkhatswa made a u-turn and began his bail proceedings.

Mkhatswa took to the witness stand to give the court oral evidence for his bail application. He gave the court a breakdown of his version of events in his submitted affidavit of events.


Mkhatswa told the court that he was arrested in what he described as Hollywood style in his home in front of his family.

He said the day he saw on social media about the missing of Hillary Gardee he was preparing for his lobola ceremony with his fiance.

He told the court that when the victim disappeared, it has been months since he has been anywhere close to Nelspruit.

“I have not been in Nelspruit in a long time, how am I implicated in such an inhumane crime. I have no gun, never killed before and I had a lobola ceremony to prepare,” he told the court.

In his affidavit, Mkhatswa told the court that he was woken up around 3 am on the 29th of April by “captures” who were pointing guns at the windows of his house. 

Mkhatshwa, who told the court he was tortured by police into confessing and implicating his co-accused.

Prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni grilled him in court for hours on Thursday based on claims he that he made in his affidavit which he filed as part of his bail application.

He is facing schedule six charges for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping, raping, and killing of Hillary Gardee.


Mkhatwsa further told the court the suspended ANC employee Philimon Lukhele is his friend and he visits him timeously. 

He said the last time he spoke to Lukhele was during the Mpumalanga Provincial Conference. 

He said he wanted to purchase a vehicle from him and he was busy with the conference.

Mkhatswa told the court he only know to accuse number three through Lukhele as he is employed there.