The Pretoria High Court has ordered that the Hillary Gardee murder inquiry be given top priority by the South African Police Service (Saps).
Due of sensitive evidence of “persons of interest” attached to the papers, the case was heard behind closed doors
The decision comes after Gardee’s family filed an urgent appeal in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to compel the police and Police Minister Bheki Cele to give the inquiry top priority.
The court also mandated the appointment of a multidisciplinary team made up of Saps officials, crime intelligence agents, and Hawks officers to “probe, examine, search, and collect evidence,” according to Sinawo Tambo, a spokesperson for the family and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Family spokesperson Sinawo Tambo said the relief granted by the court was a victory for citizens in the battle against gender-based violence and a reminder of the constitutional obligation of the SAPS to serve citizens.
“In this regard, the first meeting between the family‘s representatives, advocate Gillian Benson and advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, with the multidisciplinary team will be scheduled at the earliest convenience with [the police] team,” Tambo said.
The team has further been directed to keep the Gardee family “fully appraised of the developments in the investigation once every two weeks”
“This order arises from the failure of the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner of Police and their representatives to properly carry out their duties effectively,” Tambo said in a statement.
According to Tambo, the court’s relief was a triumph for the public in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).