A suspect in Hillary Gardee’s murder trial filed for bail in Mbombela Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga on Thursday, saying he was not near the IT graduate at the time of her abduction and killing.
Sipho Mkhatshwa, dressed in a gray and black track top and jeans, sat silently as his affidavit was read by his attorney Sifiso Silindza.
Mkhatshwa stated in his affidavit that he was a father of five and a child Elder of the Roman Catholic Church in Malelane County.
He recorded his whereabouts from the time Gardee was abducted on April 29th to the time her body was found on May 3rd was found on a gravel road next to a pine plantation.
According to Mkhatshwa, he spent the five days that the state claims he had kidnapped and killed Gardee attending church, visiting a bereaved family roast, buy two car batteries, make clothes for his upcoming marriage with his children and his bride. to-be, with his gardener, preparing his garden for the wedding, sho procuring cold drinks and food, and arranging with a veterinarian a permit for the slaughter of a cow for a Lebola ceremony.
“When the deceased disappeared – April 29th at 5:30pm – I was with my gardener.
“On the day she was killed I was leading a service, giving comfort to grieving friends, adjusting our wedding attire and picked up my fiancee from a hair salon.
“On the day the state claims I was involved in the murder, I was at church and then went to a Portuguese festival until 7pm .
“I am innocent of all charges. Instead, the police tortured me into confessing to the crimes and implicating my co-defendant,” he said.
The case was briefly stayed.
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