Lawyers defending war vets arrested for hostage drama oppose case extension

Fifty-two suspects have appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court sitting at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility.

Accused military veterans in connection of the hostage situation with cabinet ministers at Pretoria Magistrates Court in Kgosi Mampuru II correctional services on 18 October 2021. Picture: Pool/Jacques Nelles.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing more than 50 liberation struggle veterans facing charges relating to the hostage situation involving ministers in Pretoria last week have vehemently opposed an extension for the State to conclude its verification of the profiles and addresses of the accused.

Fifty-two suspects have appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court sitting at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility.

The 53rd suspect submitted a medical letter excusing him from Monday’s proceedings.

The matter has been postponed to Tuesday.

The State argued the verification of the addresses of the over 50 suspects required more time as this was the big group with some residing in KwaZulu-Natal and that the profiling team was not available over the weekend.

However, advocate Dali Mpoufu - speaking on behalf of the defence - said it was unacceptable that the State failed to process any of the accused in the four days they had been in custody.

“The law says the verification process must be done after 12 hours. So now, we are talking about a period that is almost 10 times the allowed period.”

WATCH: Case against military vets accused of holding ministers hostage postponed

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