Anti-apartheid veterans hold SA ministers hostage
JOHANNESBURG: South African security forces moved in to free three government ministers who were “held hostage” during a fractious meeting with anti-apartheid veterans, officials said.
At least 56 people were arrested and would probably be charged with kidnapping after the confrontation in a hotel in the capital Pretoria on Thursday night, the NATJoints security agency said.
Mondli Gungubele, a minister in the presidency, said he and defence minister Thandi Modise, along with her deputy Thabang Makwetla, had met the veterans to hear their grievances over compensation for their role in the anti-apartheid struggle.
In a video statement, Mr Gungubele said the ministers and the veterans had failed to reach an agreement on how the meeting should take place and decided to adjourn it.
“As we were leaving the meeting, proceeding to the doors, they [the veterans] closed the doors. It is at that point when we realised that we’re held hostage,” Mr
“It is a situation which was averted by the security forces, very effectively and successfully.” Mr Gungubele said the incident was “untenable” and “legally unacceptable”.
The National Joint Operational and
Intelligence Structure (NATJoints), which coordinates security operations, said in a statement that after attempts to negotiate with the “hostage” takers to release the ministers failed, police then resorted to a “tactical approach”.