Ministers held hostage: Accused appear in prison court, Dali Mpofu to represent some of them

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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)
  • Advocate Dali Mpofu will be representing some of the 56 people accused of holding two ministers and a deputy minister hostage.
  • The matter is being heard in a small court in Kgosi Mampuru prison as opposed to the bigger court in town.
  • Only five journalists would be allowed inside.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, SC, will be representing some of the 56 people accused of holding two Cabinet ministers and a deputy minister hostage in Pretoria on Thursday.

The accused are expected to make their first appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday, and it is understood that the case will be postponed.

WATCH | War vets picket outside Pietermaritzburg High Court in support of arrested comrades appearing in a Gauteng court

Mpofu will be representing some of the accused, while four other defence teams are also present at court.

Despite the large number of accused, the matter is being heard at a small court inside Kgosi Mampuru prison, as opposed to the bigger court in town.

No reason has been given for the decision.

READ | Disbanded MKMVA want govt to release the 56 accused of holding two ministers and a deputy hostage

As a result, only five journalists have been allowed into court.

News24 previously reported that the hostage drama started on Thursday at 19:15 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.

Military Veterans in the Kgosi Mampuru Correctiona
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 in the Kgosi Mampuru Correctiona
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)

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

The group, which met with government at the hotel on Thursday, was demanding millions in reparations for their role in the anti-apartheid struggle.

The group include Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association members and former members of the PAC's Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) and Azapo's Azanian National Liberation Army (Azanla).


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