3 Public Protector staff freed after hostage situation in PTA

The group is demanding an investigation into R26bn stolen from the Reserve Bank during apartheid.

Police arrested 25 of the members of the Black First Land First movement, including its national convener Andile Mngxitama on 18 July 2016. Picture: Twitter - @geeceechai

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Protector's office has described how members of the Black First Land First movement (BLF) allegedly stormed its offices in Pretoria, armed with containers of petrol and took three staff members hostage.

Police arrested 25 of the movements' members including its national convener Andile Mngxitama.

They're currently being held at the Brooklyn Police Station.

Mngxitama has told Eyewitness News that the group was demanding that Advocate Thuli Madonsela investigate the theft of R26 billion rand from the Reserve Bank during the apartheid-era.

Speaking from the Brooklyn Police Station holding cells, Mngxitama says they were demonstrating peacefully when a Public Protector staff member allegedly lied to the police about their actions.

"There was some white women at the front desk (sic). When she called the police, she explicitly said there was an armed robbery going on in the building. That is a lie and you must see how police arrived there. They arrived with guns ready to shoot, they even pointed with cocked guns. They wanted to shoot our members."

The Public Protector's Oupa Segalwe says about two dozen BLF members forced their way into their offices.

"When they came through, they jumped over the security parameters at our front desk and then they were able to gain entrance into the rest of the building. They were armed with containers of petrol, they held up to three members of staff in an office."

Mngxitama adds, "They lied to the police. They wanted the police to shoot us instead of dealing with a very simple matter."

Madonsela was not at the office at the time of the incident.