- Defence Minister Thandi Modise was among the ministers who were held hostage by Liberation Struggle War Veterans on Thursday
- Reports say the military veterans held the ministers hostage when negotiations had to end because no agreement had been reached
- The military veterans denied holding hostages and claimed that the ministers and one deputy could leave if they had wanted to
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TSHWANE - A total of 56 military veterans who are part of the Liberation Struggle War Veterans (LSWV) were apprehended by the South African Police Services after they allegedly held two ministers and a deputy minister against their will on Thursday night.
Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise, Deputy Minister of Defence Thabang Makwetla and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele were in a meeting with military veterans who fought during the apartheid era.
The talks between the ministers and LSWV seemingly did not go as planned as members of LSWV refused to let the ministers leave the St George's Hotel in Tshwane. The vets are said to have demanded R4.2 million each, according to the Daily Maverick.
The police had initially tried to negotiate with the LSWV members to release the hostages but failed to convince them to do so, which led the police and security forces to use tactical means to rescue the victims.
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The military veterans who have been arrested will all face three counts of kidnapping, according to Brigadier Vish Naidoo, police spokesperson.
Gungubele explains what led to the hostage situation
Following the incident, a video message was released by Gungubele, who explained what led to the hostage-taking. The meeting was ended because an agreement between members of LSWV and the ministers could not be reached.
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Gungubele said when they attempted to leave the meeting, the military veterans shut the doors and that is when they came to the realisation that they were being held hostage, reports TimesLIVE.
Military veterans say they did not hold anyone hostage
MK military veteran Lwazi Mzobe spoke to Newzroom Afrika as the hostage situation was taking place. Mzobe state that the ministers were not being held hostage and were free to leave whenever they wanted.
He added that the ministers were actually asked to sit with military veterans while they waited for a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
South Africans react to the hostage-taking of ministers
Social media users were completely shocked that Defence Minister Thandi Modise had been taken hostage. Some people highlighted that Deputy President David Mabuza was initially scheduled to meet with veterans but had been unable to make it to the meeting.
Here's what they had to say:
"That's lawlessness in Mzansi, Defence Minister held hostage is unheard of, the demands from Military Veterans... how did we come to this point?"
"Cyril Ramaphosa left Thandi Modise, Mondli Gungubele and Thabang Makwetla to dry, he said you were with them in exile, so see to finish, andizi. "
"They have entertained these so-called military veterans for too long. This is what happens in the end."
"Now ANC is gonna open a case of kidnapping against MKMVA? The circus never stops "
"These are no military veterans. Which war did they fight in?Maybe a few MK soldiers amongst them. Or not even that. They should demand money from the ANC. Not from the Gov't. That's what ANC get from not disbanding MKMV immediately after 1994."
"I don’t think former MKVA members planned this hostage drama yesterday. They acted out of emotions. 1. Many are facing financial pressure 2. Somebody promised them that this R4.2 million is attainable & said ministers are a problem & are stopping the process. #MinistersHostage"
"Thandi Modise’s doctor has been denied entry to the St George’s Hotel by Military Veterans. This is unacceptable, medical care should be allowed no matter the situation. (Also we must not appoint leaders who will have health complications when work pressures rise)"
"South Africa is a movie shem. Minister of Defence Thandi Modise held hostage. John Wick causing havoc in Mamelodi. Somalis fighting with locals in Ghebwhatwhat. Oscar Mabuyane telling Hawks to stop investigating him. R15m stadium. Covid taking a break for political campaigns."
Liberation Veterans launch protest action outside ANC headquarters at Luthuli House
Briefly News previously reported that three groups of former military veterans that fought during the Apartheid have headed to the African National Congress's head office at Luthuli House in Johannesburg to demand money they believed is owed to them.
The groups call themselves the Liberation Struggle War Veterans (LSWV) and include the Pan Africanist Congress’s Azanian People’s Liberation Army, Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and Azapo’s Azanian National Liberation Army (Azanla).
The members of these groups began camping at Luthil House on Sunday and they say that they need to be compensated R2.2 million each, according to a report by The Witness.
Source: Briefly News