Sonke Gender Justice Laments South Africa’s Failing Justice System

Johannesburg, 14 April 2023 – Sonke Gender Justice condemns what it calls a woeful South African justice system. This comes as charges against the four men accused of killing Hillary Gardee have been provisionally withdrawn due to the unavailability of state witnesses. Gardee, who is the daughter of former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, was found killed execution-style in Mbombela, Nelspruit April last year.

Sonke believes this reflects badly on the system that assured the public that it has a  strong case against the alleged perpetrators. ‘’This is one more failure by the criminal  justice system. These suspects were in jail for months on end. The family was eagerly  awaiting court processes to end so as to have closure, now the suspects have been  released with a provisional withdrawal. We don’t know why this is the case only now’’.  Said Sonke’s Co-Executive Director, and Co-Chairperson of the Global MenEngage  Alliance, Bafana Khumalo.

The accused, Sipho Lawrence Mkhatshwa, Albert Mduduzi Gama, Philemon Lukhele and  Rassie Hlabirwa Nkune, faced charges of murder, kidnapping, possession of unlicenced  firearms and ammunition, and defeating the ends of justice. Khumalo sympathises with  the Gardee family ‘’ We feel the pain of the family who have to continue with the trauma  of not knowing who was responsible for the death of their loved one. It’s no wonder GBV  is so high in this country, the system is woeful.’’ Sonke Gender Justice is deeply  concerned about the cases of gender-based violence in South Africa. The state has an  obligation to do better in the interest of justice for victims of this heinous crime.

For media enquiries contact:

Kgomotso Mophulane, Communications & Strategic Information Manager, Sonke Gender Justice on or 0835196187.

Bafana Khumalo, Co-Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice and Co-Chairperson, Global MenEngage Alliance: or 082 5784479.

Note to Editors

Sonke is a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa. We  believe women and men, girls and boys can work together to resist patriarchy, advocate for gender justice, and achieve gender transformation.