- The ANC Chief Whip's office has handed over a suspension letter to one of the men accused of Hillary Gardee's murder
- Philemon Lukhele, who is an employee of the Office of the Chief Whip in Mpumalanga, will go without pay during his suspension
- Lukhele and two other men are facing charges related to kidnapping, murder, rape and others
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MBOMBELA - The Office of the African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip in Mpumalanga has made the decision to suspend employee Philemon Lukhele, one of the men who accused of murdering 28-year-old Hillary Gardee.
Gardee was reportedly kidnapped and brutally tortured before she was shot in the head and abandoned in a field outside of Mbombela. Her body was found on Tuesday, 3 May after days of search efforts.
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Speaking on Newzroom Afrika, ANC Chief Whip Vincent Fidel Mlombo says he went to the Nelspruit Correctional Services to personally deliver Lukhele's suspension letter.
"Today I'm from the Nelspruit correctional services where I personally handed to Mr Philemon Lukhele, who is an employee at the Office of the Chief Whip in Mpumalanga, a suspension letter without pay effective from today at 9 o clock," said Mlombo.
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Mlombo says Lukhele's suspension is pending a disciplinary hearing, which the office of the Chief Whip hopes to hold as soon as the murder suspect is out on bail if he does receive bail. Mlombo says they have not yet made the decision on whether or not he will be fired from his job.
The ANC Chief Whip stated that Lukhele was understanding when he was handed the suspension letter and indicated that he holds no grudges against the Office of the Chief Whip and Mlombo. He also added that Lukhele also understands the seriousness of the charges against him.
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According to TimesLIVE, Lukhele, Sipho Lawrence Mkhatshwa and Mduzuzi Gama are all facing charges of kidnapping, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, rape and possession of illegal firearms.
All three suspects abandoned their bail application while further investigations into the murder are being conducted. The case will go back to court on 9 June.
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Briefly News previously reported that a guesthouse belonging to Philemon Lukhele, who is one of the three men accused of murdering Hillary Gardee, is set to be "evacuated". The Insika Guest House in Mbombela, which houses students from the University of Mpumalanga, is said to be the location where Gardee was held captive.
EFF leader Julius Malema referred to the guesthouse as a “House of Horror” on Tuesday 10 May. Lukhele, along with Albert Mduduzi Gama and Sipho Lawrence Mkhatshwa, face charges of rape, murder, kidnapping, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and conspiracy to commit murder.
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They appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court and abandoned their bail application.
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Source: Briefly News