Bail application for 53 war vets arrested for holding ministers hostage to continue on Tuesday

The national prosecuting authority (NPA) has said that the matter relating to the 53 military veterans (vets) arrested in connection with last week’s hostage drama involving ministers will continue on Tuesday, 19 October 2021, for a formal bail application.

This after the court on Monday denied the state’s application to postpone the matter for seven days, NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said.

The military vets appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday after they were arrested last week for allegedly holding Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele; the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise and her deputy Thabang Makwetla hostage in Tshwane on Thursday evening.

The vets met with the ministers to discuss issues that they have raised regarding their welfare.

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On Friday last week, Gungubele said engagements between government and the military associations have thus far been productive and cordial.

According to Gungubele, some of government’s interventions for military veterans to date include:

  • A draft bill to amend the Military Veterans Act to deal with some of the discrepancies in the act such as the definition of a military veteran; provisions of healthcare benefits to the dependents of military veterans, and means tests criteria.
  • The review of the Special Pension Act.
  • The development of the Pension Policy.
  • Work around the Presidential pardons and expungement of criminal records for some of the members.
  • Social relief of distress and the housing for their members.
  • Involvement of some of the members in socio-economic activities.
  • Repatriation of the remains of military members and the erection of the monuments in the host countries and memorialisation of fallen heroes.
  • Support on education of the children of the combatants.
  • Provision of land for farming and human settlement.

“Other interventions still being undertaken include more socio-economic support, a verification of the military veterans’ database and matters related to heritage.”

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