Two military veterans accused of holding ministers hostage granted R500 bail each
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Johannesburg - Two of the 11 military veterans who allegedly held several ministers hostage last week, were granted bail of R500 by Magistrate Bheki Ntshingila at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility’s Court on Friday.
The remaining nine suspects are due to apply for bail after being found to have serious convictions including murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of a firearm.
Some suspects said they were still waiting for presidential pardons.
The military veterans said they had been promised benefits and support when they returned to South Africa from exile, including education and training, help with finding work, housing and funeral benefits. But none of these had materialised.
They said a delegation of 20 members had met with President Cyril Ramaphosa last year and responded that he understood their plight.
A total of 53 military veterans were arrested last Friday at St George's Hotel in Pretoria. They are accused of holding Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Minister of Defence Thandi Modise, Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thabang Makwetla and other delegates from the Presidency with 10 representatives from the military veterans, hostage.
“The 53 veterans are currently facing one count of conspiracy to kidnap and 26 counts of kidnapping,” said National Prosecuting Authority North Gauteng regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.
The matter was postponed to February 1 for the 44 veterans who were released on bail.
Mahanjana said Gungubele who chaired the meeting informed the gathering that deputy president David Mabuza was not available and asked if the military veterans wished the meeting to still proceed.
The veterans allegedly refused to deal with anyone without President Cyril Ramaphosa or Mabuza.
Mahanjana said Gungubele then decided to adjourn the meeting and asked people present to leave the venue.
“At that point it is alleged that a group of people stormed in and closed the entrances of the venue and barricaded the doors with chairs, telling the ministerial delegation that no one will leave until the president or the deputy president comes to address their issues. The 26 delegates were kept in the venue for three hours.
“They were later released after the SAPS Special Task Force rescued them and apprehended the 53 veterans,” Mahanjana said.