By Yoliswa Hlatshwayo
KAMAGUGU – “I stumbled, fumbled and almost fell over you when we went to the last place you took your breath. I greeted you and you kept quiet.”
Those were the words of Godrich Gardee in a pre-recorded video played at his daughter’s funeral service held at Church on the Hill this morning.
He said he was so naïve and thought he would live to see her grow older and play with his grandchildren, who shall bury him. In Hillary, who was abducted and later found dead on Tuesday, he saw a bright future.
“You were named after female leaders of the world. Little did we know you would die a tragic death. A death characterized by boot prints on your chest. An object struck on your head, stab wounds on your breast and back. A gunshot at the back of your head and a bleeding nose.”
“It never occurred to me or your loved ones in the family that we would have to identify your body in the bush. Lying face down with your hands clutching tightly on grass and shrubs fighting for your life. The distance between crawling to the road and the grass where we found. You tell the story of a fighter we never knew.”
“Your daughter Aaliyah said to us, ‘mommy is coming to pick me up, and she bought me this jacket. Mommy is fighting.’ It was the latter words and strange dumping of the three-year-old that sent shock waves to us. We finally caught that we are dealing with something that will end in tears. Indeed, it has ended in tears,” said the former Economic Freedom Fighters Secretary-General.
He described her as a ‘Jack of All Trades’ and a young person who valued education. He committed to take care of the three-year-old girl Hillary took as her own and as a legacy project, set up a foundation in her honor.