HILLARY Gardee’s lover Muxe Zitha (28) of Thulamahashe near Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, is preparing to sue the police for his wrongful arrest and for allegedly torturing him.
Hillary (28), who was the daughter of former EFF secretary general Goodrich Gardee, was found killed near a plantation in Lydenburg after she reportedly disappeared at the Nelspruit CBD on Friday, 29 April.
“I am consulting my legal advisors to file a lawsuit against the police for wrongful arrest and torturing me over nothing. At first the police claimed they were helping me to find queen Hillary, and we went searching for her together. But I was shocked when a few days later the same police, who were supposed to protect me, assaulted me, tortured me and wrongfully accused me of killing her. Doctors confirmed I had internal injuries and put me on a drip and medication. I no longer trust the police and I’m no longer safe from them. How can I kill her, when I loved her so much?” he asked.
He said on Wednesday morning, 4 May, he received a call from a cop who identified himself as the investigating officer in the case. He said the cop asked for a meeting at Nelspruit cop shop. And on his way there, the cop apparently phoned him again to rearrange their meeting at Hazyview cop shop.
But he alleged that upon arrival, the police officer and his two colleagues cuffed him, took his cellphone and laptop, before throwing him into a VW Polo and left with him to the provincial police office. They later dropped him off at the Nelspruit cop shop at about 8pm.
There he met a team of police officers and one of them allegedly bashed and klapped him in the boardroom.
“The police bashed me and klapped me saying I must tell them where Hillary is. I replied that I last saw her on Friday afternoon at Truworths in Brown Street in the Nelspruit CBD when she left me with the child. I last communicated with her at about 5pm on the day as she told me she was at Nelspruit Plaza Spar supermarket. They obtained the statement before dropping me off at my rented room at KaMagugu,” he said.
But things turned ugly again the next morning when he returned to the cop shop to collect his cellphone and laptop.
“I had just arrived at the cop shop to fetch my business laptop and cellphone as advised by the cop the previous night. Two cops jumped at me and arrested me in front of a top cop. They accused me of being responsible for Hillary’s death before throwing me into the police van and drove off a distance between Carolina and Barberton with me. The police dragged me out of the car and started interrogating me about Hillary’s disappearance and a R1000 transaction from her bank account. So quickly they shocked me as I tried to explain that I made the transaction to my Capitec account, which I used for my graphic design, printing and accounting business. The next thing I woke up and found myself in my rented room in KaMagugu,” said claimed.
His saddened mum, Florence Zitha (63), said: “I am thankful to his mastand who alerted us. My son could have died.”
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokeswoman Lizzy Suping said: “We encourage the complainant to open a case either with SAPS or with Ipid using our toll free number, which is 0800 111969 and Ipid will investigate the case.”