Cape Town – The ANC in Mpumalanga has reportedly revoked the “fraudulently obtained” membership of one of the men accused of the kidnapping and murder of Hillary Gardee.
According to The Citizen, Philemon Lukhele’s membership was cancelled following a meeting on Friday of the party’s provincial working committee.
“Following the arrest of Mr Philemon Lukhele and his subsequent charging for kidnapping, rape, possession of an illegal firearm, defeating the ends of justice and the murder of Ms Hillary Gardee, the ANC provincial working committee has taken a decision to immediately withdraw his membership,” the report quoted ANC Mpumalanga spokesperson, Ngelosi Ndhlovu, as saying in a statement.
This followed Lukhele’s suspension without pay pending a disciplinary hearing for bringing the ANC Chief Whip’s office into disrepute.
The ANC also revealed that, following an internal investigation, it found that Lukhele’s membership was obtained illegally, News24 reported.
“After an investigation into his membership was conducted, which proved that it was obtained irregularly, and therefore does not satisfy the stipulated requirements of the ANC Constitution, in that he is not a South African,” said Ndhlovu, as quoted by the report.
It had also emerged that Lukhele was a member of the Eswatini opposition party, the People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo), the report said.
Lukhele, was arrested along with Sipho Mkhatshwa and Albert Gama and charged with murder, rape, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, and possession of an illegal firearm.
The trio appeared in the Mbombela Magistrate’s Court on Monday last week where they abandoned their bail application. The case was rescheduled to June 9.
Hillary who was 28-year-old went missing on April 29 after a shopping trip to a Spar near her home in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
She was found dead in a field outside Mbombela on May 3 with a gun wound on her head.
Hillary was the daughter of former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee.
Picture: Twitter/ @collensedibe
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe