NPA: No prima facie case against military vets accused of kidnapping ministers

The veterans were charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and 26 charges of kidnapping in October last year.

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 - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that it withdrew the charges against more than 50 liberation struggle veterans who were accused of kidnapping two ministers and a deputy minister in Pretoria last year because it was of the view that there was no prima facie case against them.

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Defence Minister Thandi Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla and other government officials were held against their will at the St George’s Hotel after a meeting to discuss reparations for the veterans descended into chaos.

The veterans were charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and 26 charges of kidnapping in October last year.

The group appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Wednesday where the case was withdrawn.

The NPA’s Lumka Mahanjana said: “The State is of the view that there is no prima facie case because neither the identity nor the individual acts committed by each individual accused can be proven. The complainants were also reluctant to proceed with the matter and sympathised with the accused. Witnesses were also unable to identify who performed what act at the scene.