On May 21, Makwetla was kidnapped by a group of armed men, forced to draw sums of money from his bank account and then dumped in a veld where he feared he would be executed.
Mojalefa Mathe, Motsepe Gidion, Brandon Katlego Mashego and Ben Kutumela were arrested for the hijacking and appeared at the Randburg Magistrates' Court on Thursday.
It’s understood the men have pending criminal cases against them, though an attempt to link them to a similar hijacking of an advocate failed.
Makwetla and a large entourage of Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans attended the proceedings. The deputy minister said he hoped the case would be completed quickly as it would allow him to speak to the men directly and continue a conversation he tried to have with them during the hijacking.
When they had kidnapped him, Makwetla said he had tried to reason with the men and explain that he recognised the hardship under which they lived.
If he were to continue this conversation, he said he would want them to recognise that, as proud South Africans, they should not continue the cycle of violence and deprivation already inflicted on communities started by the previous generation.
Weekend Argus Sunday