Mounting calls for the release of military vets arrested after hostage drama

The disbanded uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association has accused the presidential task team of exacerbated divisions among military veterans.

The St George’s hotel where Defence Minister Thandi Modise, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele and Deputy Minister of Defence Thabang Makwetla  were held hostage by former liberation combatants on 14 October 2021. Picture: Veronica Mokhoali/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The disbanded uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) has accused the presidential task team, under the leadership of Deputy President David Mabuza, of exacerbated divisions among military veterans.

READ: Liberation Struggle War Veterans demands release of its members : Hostage drama

Calls are mounting for ex-combatants to be release from police custody after ministers Thandi Modise, Mondli Gungubele and Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla were held against their will inside a Pretoria hotel on Thursday night for close to three hours.

The hostile standoff saw at least 56 people arrested while some were injured.

Eyewitness News has learnt that those arrested face three counts of kidnapping and one count of public violence.

They met the ministers after occupying Luthuli House earlier this week.

The formation has gained traction following the disbandment of the MKMVA.

MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus said government’s response to addressing its own failures was a total over-reaction.

He said the undermining and disbanding of legitimate structures had created a dangerous leadership vacuum leading to splinter groups used by the presidential task team to divide and rule while pinning military veterans against one another.

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