Thandi Modise military veterans hostage

Thandi Modise. Photo: Flickr/GCIS

Military vets would’ve kept ministers captive for days – report

At least 56 people were arrested on three counts of kidnapping after holding Thandi Modise, Mondli Gungubele and Thabang Makwetla hostage

Thandi Modise military veterans hostage

Thandi Modise. Photo: Flickr/GCIS

The disgruntled military veterans who held two ministers and a deputy minister hostage were prepared to do so for as long as it took, until their demands are met, Sunday Times reports.

Defence Minister Thandi Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla as well as Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele were held against their will on Thursday evening at the St. George’s Hotel in Centurion.

The trio had been meeting with the disgruntled ex-combatants to iron out their grievances. The group was initially scheduled to meet with Deputy President David Mabuza, however this seemingly did not happen. The Special Task Force Unit was soon roped in and the trio was rescued later that evening. At least 56 people have been arrested and they face about three counts of kidnapping.

Military veterans’ demands from government

Sunday Times has cited a “source” who said the ex-combatants saw the meeting with the trio as their opportunity. The military veterans have a series of demands from government, chief among them being payments of R4 million to each of them.

Thandi Modise reportedly told them before the meeting that government could not afford to pay them. Modise, Mondli Gungubele and Thabang Makwetla then packed their bags and were set to leave, towards the end of the meeting, which was when they were barred.

The source says they took issue with the fact that the trio essentially dismissed their grievances without putting forward solutions to their dispute.

“So whether it was going to be sitting there for a day or two days or five days, we don’t know. But the resolve was to make sure that the opportunity doesn’t get spoiled by the impatience from the ministers’ side,” the source told the publication.