Case against 53 veterans accused of kidnapping withdrawn

The group faced charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and 26 counts of kidnapping.

FILE:The veterans were demanding millions in reparations for their role in the liberation struggle and refused to let the officials go until they had the audience of the President and his deputy  Picture: Pool/Jacques Nelles.

JOHANNESBURG - The case against 53 military veterans accused of taking two ministers and a deputy minister hostage has been withdrawn after they appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates court on Tuesday.

The group faced charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and 26 counts of kidnapping.

Government officials, including Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Defence Minister Thandi Modise and her deputy, Thabang Makwetla were held against their will at the St Georges hotel in Pretoria last year.

The veterans were demanding millions in reparations for their role in the liberation struggle and refused to let the officials go until they had the audience of the president and his deputy.

“The matter against the 53 liberation struggle war veterans has been withdrawn, this is after the defence made representations to the director of public prosecutions,” said the National Prosecuting Authority's Lumka Mahanjana.

The NPA said the R500 bail amount paid by the veterans would be reimbursed to them.