11 struggle veterans accused of kidnapping ministers due back in court for bail

The 11 suspects who will appear in court were found to have previous convictions when the applications of 42 others who were granted bail were processed.

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 - Eleven suspects accused of holding two ministers hostage at the St George’s Hotel in Irene will apply for bail at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning.

They are part of the 53 former uMkhonto we Sizwe combatants who face kidnapping charges among others, after blocking Defence Minister Thandi Modise, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele and Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla from leaving the venue. They had been meeting to discuss various grievances and complaints by the vets.

The 11 suspects who will appear in court were found to have previous convictions when the applications of 42 others who were granted bail were processed.

The 42 people were granted R500 bail each this week.

Their trial will only begin in February next year.

The group is accused of kidnapping, with the State considering adding treason to the list of charges.

However, the decision would need to be authorised by the National Director of Public Prosecutions before adding them to the charge sheet.

The MK veterans had been pleading for a set of social benefits from the government for years, with the meeting, which ended in chaos, part of the negotiations under way to reach a settlement.

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