Minister of Defence Thandi Modise, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele and Deputy Defence Minister Thabang Makwetla are reportedly currently being held hostage by liberation struggle war veterans at St George Hotel in Gauteng.
Modise and her delegation met with the veterans on Thursday evening, 14 October. The meeting with the veterans was to discuss benefits and the government’s failure to meet their demands, including a gratuity payment of R4 million each.
According to reports, the veterans barricaded the doors and prevented Modise and the other ministers from leaving.
The veterans are demanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa address their concerns, himself, tonight, as Modise was not able to address their grievances. The veterans reportedly expected to speak to Deputy President David Mabuza at the meeting on Thursday.
Modise, Gungubele and Makwetla, were rescued from the veterans and taken to a place of safety when members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) stormed the hotel. Stun grenades were used and arrests are being made.
Visuals from the aftermath of the security forces storming the venue show several individuals lying face down on the ground. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) members are also inside the building.
The Liberation Struggle War Veterans (LSWV) group is made up of former soldiers from the ANC’s uMkhonto weSizwe, the PAC’s APLA and Azania’s Azania members. Earlier this weekend the veterans camped outside the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, and demanded a meeting with the party’s leaders.
This is what gave rise to the fateful meeting on Thursday evening. David Mabuza, who the veterans expected to meet, is the head of the presidential task team on issues related to military veterans.