South African defence minister Thandi Modise, minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele, and deputy defence minister Thabang Makwetla were reportedly held hostage for more than two hours at St. George’s Hotel near Pretoria on Thursday night.
EWN and Newzroom Afrika reported that members of the ANC’s MK military veterans barricaded doors in one of the meeting rooms of the hotel and refused to allow Modise and her associates to leave. The minister had met with the veterans over their demands for better care and payment of reparations after they previously forced their way into Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
Newzroom Afrika said the former combatants were demanding the president come to St. George’s Hotel to hear their grievances. Veteran Lwazi Mzobe denied that they were holding the ministers hostage, and claimed they had “agreed” to stay there.
However, leaked pictures and videos from inside the hotel in the possession of Newzroom Afrika and EWN reportedly showed the doors were indeed being blocked. Shortly after EWN reported that “scores” of police officers had arrived on the scene, Newzroom Afrika claimed “special forces” had stormed the hotel and made arrests.
[MUST WATCH] MK Veterans refuse to allow Defence Minister Thandi Modise and her deputy to leave St Georges Hotel.
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) October 14, 2021
Newzroom Afrika said that a commotion and “what sounded like gunshots” could be heard during its interview with Mzobe.
EWN later reported that “some people” had been injured during the events and that at least two ambulances were seen entering the hotel grounds.
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