× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Gender Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

South African ministers 'held hostage' during meeting with veterans

By Reuters | October 15th 2021

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives with Thandi Modise to deliver his State of the Nation address at parliament, February 13, 2020. [Reuters]

South African security forces moved in to free three government ministers who were "held hostage" during a fractious meeting with anti-apartheid veterans, officials said.

At least 56 people were arrested and would probably be charged with kidnapping after the confrontation in a hotel in the capital Pretoria on Thursday night, the NATJoints security agency said.

Mondli Gungubele, a minister in the presidency, said he and defence minister Thandi Modise, along with her deputy Thabang Makwetla, had met the veterans to hear their grievances over compensation for their role in the anti-apartheid struggle.

A spokesperson for the veterans could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a video statement, Gungubele said the ministers and the veterans had failed to reach an agreement on how the meeting should take place and decided to adjourn it.

"As we were leaving the meeting, proceeding to the doors, they (the veterans) closed the doors. It is at that point when we realised that we're held hostage," Gungubele said.

Mondli Gungubele. [Courtesy]

"It is a situation which was averted by the security forces, very effectively and successfully." Gungubele said the incident was "untenable" and "legally unacceptable".

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJoints), which coordinates security operations, said in a separate statement that after attempts to negotiate with the "hostage" takers to release the ministers failed, police resorted to a "tactical approach".

The statement did not elaborate on what approach was used but said no shots were fired during the rescue mission.

It was not immediately clear how long the stand-off lasted.

"While processing the suspects, three of them have been taken for medical checks after they complained of pains," the NATJoints said.

The 56 people, including seven women, were likely to face charges of kidnapping, the organisation added. There was no immediate statement from any of the arrested people or any lawyers representing them.

The government said it will hold a press briefing at 0900 GMT on Friday on the matter.

Share this story
World Sight Day: Love your eyes and go have your eyes checked today, says Health ministry
CS Kagwe urges all persons with diabetes to visit an eye specialist for a checkup every year for early detection and treatment of any complications.
Drought in North Eastern pushes millions towards hunger
The lack of rain means 2.4 million people in the region will struggle to find enough to eat by November, the United Nations World Food Programme says.