Gungubele: We had no reason to suspect military veterans would hold us hostage

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Defence Minister Thandi Modise and her deputy Thabang Makwetla were involved in a tense hostage situation when a group of military veterans prevented them from leaving after a meeting.

Minister in The Presidency, Mr Mondli Gungubele. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said they had no reason to suspect military veterans would hold them hostage on Thursday night.

Gungubele, Defence Minister Thandi Modise and her deputy Thabang Makwetla were involved in a tense hostage situation when a group of military veterans prevented them from leaving after a meeting.

This resulted in 56 military veterans later being arrested.

Gungubele and Modise gave the media an update on Friday following the incident.

Thursday night’s drama unfolded at the St George’s Hotel near Irene, when military veterans refused to release the three until their demands were met.

ALSO READ:

They want to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa to address their demands for greater social and economic assistance.

But Gungubele said they had no reason to suspect they would be held against their will.

“For instance, we weren’t meeting these people for the first time, and they had not done this before. So, we had no basis to suspect that they were going to do what they did.”

Modise said they didn’t feel like their lives were under threat at any moment.

“We will be more careful when we meet and we will make sure we are not taken hostage again.”

Gungubele said the government, since 1994, had placed the legitimate concerns of veterans at the heart of policy interventions and was providing healthcare and educational benefits.

WATCH: Minister Gungubele: We found ourselves in a legally unacceptable situation

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.