Charges Against 56 Military Veterans Will Not Be Dropped, Says Defence Minister Thandi Modise

Charges Against 56 Military Veterans Will Not Be Dropped, Says Defence Minister Thandi Modise

  • Defence Minister Thandi Modise and the Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele held a press conference on Friday to discuss surviving the hostage situation
  • Both Modise and Gungubele agreed that the actions of the disgruntled military veterans were unacceptable
  • Modise stated that ministers would not be assigned extra protection because of the ordeal on Thursday night

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TSHWANE - The ministers and the deputy minister who were held against their will held a media briefing on Friday in Pretoria to explain what transpired on Thursday night and how they plan to address the grievances of military veterans who had become desperate to have their concerns addressed.

The Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele maintained that the acts of the apartheid military veterans were unacceptable.

Defence Minister Thandi Modise, Liberation Struggle War Veterans, Hostage-taking, Pretoria, St George's hotel, Mondli Gungubele, Thabang Makwetla
Defence Minister Thandi Modise condemned the actions of the military veterans who held her and other ministers hostage on Thursday night. Image: Michal Fludra
Source: Getty Images

He explained that the Liberation Struggle War Veterans (LSWV) were initially meant to meet with Deputy President David Mabuza who has been heading the task team dealing with grievances of the ex-combatants, as posted by The Presidency.

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Gungubele explained that Mabuza had been working with military veterans over the years and even conducted provincial visits to have sit-downs with veterans. He added that there was no reason for the military veterans to act the way they did.

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Defence Minister Thandi Modise speaks on the hostage situation on Thursday

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise stated at the press briefing that the situation at the St George's Hotel in Pretoria shows that South Africa is not a military heavy country, reports News24.

She stated that the accusations that ministers have been avoiding meeting with the military veterans were false. Modise stated that they are prepared to address the grievances of recognised military veterans.

Modise did, however, condemn the acts of the military vets and stated that despite having legitimate concerns, it does not give them the right to act unlawfully.

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Meeting goes wrong: 56 Military vets arrested for allegedly holding ministers hostage

Modise stated that there is no need for ministers to have increased security because of the incident but at the next meeting, they will be better prepared.

When asked if she would drop the charges against the LSVW members who are now being charged with three counts of kidnapping, Modise stated that there was no intention from her or her deputy minister Thabang Makwetla to drop the charges.

Mzansi takes to social media to discuss the hostage-taking of ministers

South Africans continued to talk about the hostage situation on social media. A lot of people cannot comprehend how the ministers were kept hostage for so long. Here's what they had to say:

TomEatonSA said:

"Look, given how much we pay for VIP protection it's not ideal that Thandi Modise was detained that easily and for that long. But last night was less 'Olympus Has Fallen' than a failed pig farmer being locked in by a social club for fantasists who like dressing up in uniform."

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@Mnumzana_Hlubi said:

"Ok enough about hostage, why did they book a hotel if they didn't know what or how they gonna run the meeting?? Something doesn't add up here man njee a a."

@NhlanhlaKumalo3 said:

"The reason why we don't have or never had an ex-military minister of defence is because someday, the soldiers will take or might take over the country.#MinistersHostage"

@Lesiba_str8 said:

"No Helicopter, No loudspeaker, No "the building is surrounded"...not even one thing like how they rescue presidents in those American Movies? Mos ntwe be e no ba friendly....South Africa ya bhora shem #MinistersHostage"

@Rudzani_cogitat said:

"I suspect this is a minor incident being blown out of proportion for political reasons."

Meeting goes wrong: 56 Military vets arrested for allegedly holding ministers hostage

Briefly News previously reported that 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.

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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.

Source: Briefly News

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