Hostage case: State loses bid to postpone military vets' bail application

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Military veterans at a small court inside Kgosi Mampuru prison during their first appearance after holding cabinet ministers hostage in Irene last week. (Photo: Jacques Nelles/Pool8BIM)
Military veterans at a small court inside Kgosi Mampuru prison during their first appearance after holding cabinet ministers hostage in Irene last week. (Photo: Jacques Nelles/Pool8BIM)
  • Fifty-three people accused of taking two ministers and a deputy minister hostage last week, have made their first court appearance.
  • The State asked for a seven-day postponed by to confirm the addresses of some of the accused but that request was shot down by the defence.
  • The accused are facing five charges of kidnapping.

The Pretoria Magistrate's Court has dismissed the State's application for a seven-day postponement of the case of 53 people accused of taking two ministers and a deputy minister hostage. 

The accused made their first appearance in the magistrate's court in the Kgosi Mampuru prison on Monday. 

The State asked for the postponement so that it could confirm the addresses of the accused and whether they had any previous convictions or pending cases, submitting that it did not have enough time and resources to collect the information ahead of the accused's bail applications.

But the defence opposed the postponement application. Advocate Dali Mpofu, SC, who is representing some of the accused, argued that the State had 12 hours to confirm the addresses. 

READ HERE | We told our protectors to stand back - Minister Gungubele details hostage situation with military vets

Magistrate Bheki Ntsingila dismissed the State's request and ordered that the bail applications should start on Tuesday. 

The accused are facing five charges of kidnapping. 

News24 previously reported the hostage drama started at 19:15 last Thursday at the St George's Hotel when a group of military veterans demanded an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy, David Mabuza, to address their concerns.

Minister of Defence Thandi Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele were allegedly held hostage for close to three hours.

Two protection services members were also allegedly held hostage.

The group of veterans, who met with the government, is demanding millions in reparations for their role in the anti-apartheid struggle.

The group included MKMVA members, and former members of the Pan Africanist Congress' Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) and Azapo's Azanian National Liberation Army (Azanla).

The police earlier reported that 56 people were arrested, however in court, 52 accused were present. One accused is still in hospital.

This is a developing story.


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