More charges added in case against struggle vets who held ministers hostage

The 53 accused face 27 charges which include one count of conspiracy to kidnap and twenty-six charges of kidnapping as there were 26 people in the meeting room, including ministers Mondli Gungubele and Thandi Modise as well as Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla.

Fifty-three military veterans accused of holding ministers Thandi Modise, Mondli Gungubele and deputy minister Thabang Makwetla against their will appeared in court on 19 October 2021 for bail applications. Picture: Pool/Jacques Nelles

JOHANNESBURG - More charges have been added against the 53 military veterans accused of allegedly holding two ministers, a deputy minister, and other officials hostage at the St George’s Hotel in Irene last week.

They had to be rescued by police after being prevented from leaving a meeting about the long-standing battle over the well-being of former struggle combatants.

Forty-two people were granted bail on Tuesday in the Pretoria Magistrates Court sitting at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre.

The 53 accused face 27 charges which include one count of conspiracy to kidnap and twenty-six charges of kidnapping as there were 26 people in the meeting room, including ministers Mondli Gungubele and Thandi Modise as well as Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla.

State prosecutor Sanete Jacobson said that terrorism-related charges could still be added.

“Generals, doctors, ministers, deputy ministers that were being held hostage. If every institute in this country took a stance to hold people hostage of that magnitude, where will this country go?"

Forty-two accused are out on bail and are expected to return to court on 1 February 2022, while 11 others, who were found to have previous convictions ranging from robbery to murder, will return for their bail application this Friday.

WATCH: Military veterans hostage case: 42 suspects granted bail

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