Military veterans back in court today
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Johannesburg – Eleven military veterans will appear at the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Service Court for their formal bail application today.
This is after 42 of the 53 military veterans were arrested and granted bail of R500 each on Tuesday.
The military veterans were expected to continue with their bail application.
“The 53 veterans are currently facing one count of conspiracy to kidnap and 26 counts of kidnapping,” said National Prosecuting Authority North Gauteng regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.
The matter was postponed to February1, for the 42 veterans that were released on bail.
It is alleged that on October 14, a meeting was arranged to take place between the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise, Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thabang Makwetla and other delegates from the Presidency with 10 representatives from the military veterans.
Mahanjana said when the meeting started, Gungubele chaired the meeting.
He informed the meeting that deputy president David Mabuza was not available to come to the meeting and asked if they wished for the meeting to proceed.
It is alleged that the veterans informed the minister that they will not engage in any discussion without the presence of President Cyril Ramaphosa or Mabuza.
Mahanjana said Gungubele then decided to adjourn the meeting and asked people present at the meeting to leave the venue.
“At that point it is alleged that a group of people stormed in and closed the entrances of the venue and barricaded the doors with chairs, telling the ministerial delegation that no one will leave until the president or the deputy president comes to address their issues. The 26 delegates were kept in the venue for three hours.
“They were later released after the SAPS Special Task Force rescued them and apprehended the 53 veterans,” Mahanjana said.
The court this week heard that the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act 33 of 2004 charge is not ruled out yet.
With regard to accused 52, it was revealed that he had been convicted of murder and other schedule 5 criminal charges, but the defence told the court that he was given amnesty in 1994.
The defence will still need to hand in the amnesty deal.
The military veterans demanded from the government the integration of former combatants into the country’s law enforcement agencies such as the SAPS, SANDF, Correctional Services, SA Secret Service, metro police and Border Management Agency.
The veterans also demanded proper and tangible economic benefits that would transform their lives and their families while they also demanded decent houses.