South Africa Johannesburg LSWV presser - 10 November 2021. Following the arrest of 53 people for the hostage drama at St Georges hotel in Centurion the Liberation Struggle War Veterans meet with media at Booysens hotel JHB to clear out their side of the story . Obbey Mabena airs his views. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)
South Africa Johannesburg LSWV presser - 10 November 2021. Following the arrest of 53 people for the hostage drama at St Georges hotel in Centurion the Liberation Struggle War Veterans meet with media at Booysens hotel JHB to clear out their side of the story . Obbey Mabena airs his views. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

War veterans threaten to take their plight to another level if not prioritised

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Nov 10, 2021

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Johannesburg - Members of the Liberation Struggle War Veterans of South Africa (LSWV-SA) have denied kidnapping two cabinet ministers and a deputy minister last month, calling their arrest an insult to injury.

LSWV-SA representative, Mzukisi Holomisa said veterans were poor.

“The comrades are poor, homeless, they are relying on welfare, they are denied social integration, wealth integration is not done.

“This is deliberate, not a mistake,” said Holomisa.

Last month, 53 veterans were arrested after allegedly holding Defence Minister Thandi Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele hostage following a meeting at the St George’s Hotel in Irene.

The veterans denied they kidnapped the politicians, instead, they said they were led to a trap and fell victim after scare tactics were used, they claimed.

They said 17 of their members were injured and the rest were treated in an inhumane way by having their case at a small court of Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre.

“There is an issue of kidnapping and terrorism, those are scare tactics that are used in the continent. We did not see any kind of kidnapping,” said Holomisa.

LSWV-SA spokesperson Mduduzi Chiyi said: “All the ministers, their VIP bodyguards were there inside the meeting room, carrying their weapons which they have to protect the ministers, saying that there was no kidnapping”.

The veterans thanked their lawyers for securing bail.

However, they said it was too early to discuss the merits of the case.

The LSWV-SA said they are poor and cannot afford to pay lawyers. They said the legal team secured them bail at no cost to them, “from their hearts,” they said.

Chiyi said they took to the streets of Pretoria in November last year, marching to the Union Buildings to demand better life and dignity for the liberation struggle veterans.

They submitted a memorandum of demands to President Cyril Ramaphosa, he then appointed a Presidential Task Team (PTT) chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza.

Chiyi said they requested to meet Ramaphosa to discuss ways that will ensure government honours agreements as ascribed in the Consensus Document, repayment or reparations and issuing of Presidential Declaration on all agreements.

On the day of the incident, they understood that they would meet Ramaphosa or Mabuza but surprisingly both were not there.

“The two cabinet ministers Modise and Gungubele that attended the meeting were clueless about our issues and the Consensus Document Agreement.

“The Presidency confirmed the venue for the meeting and 45 minutes before the meeting the venue was changed.

“We noticed very late that this was a trap and Mabuza was not coming.

“This trap led by Gungubele, led to the arrest of more than 50 of our comrades and about 17 sustained injuries.

“This victimisation should have consequences, we are consulting with our legal representatives on the matter,” Chiyi said.

Lwazi Mzobe, LSWV-SA national co-ordinator briefs the media in Joburg on the arrest of 53 people for the hostage drama at St Georges hotel in Centurion the Liberation Struggle War Veterans meet with media at Booysens hotel Joburg to put their side of the story . Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

LSWV-SA said the figure of R4 million for each veteran was very little, they said they could have been lawyers or doctors but chose to fight for the liberation but now they were left to be poor.

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Political Bureau

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