Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise says that the events that unfolded on Thursday night demonstrate that South Africa is not security heavy, this after military veterans allegedly held government officials hostage at a hotel in Irene, Pretoria.

She further sought to explain what efforts government has been making to address the plight of military veterans.

Modise, along with her Deputy Thabang Makwetla and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele was addressing the media in Pretoria.

56 military veterans have been arrested following the alleged hostage drama.

Modise also says she is still waiting to have a meeting with the military veterans.

“It demonstrates that South Africa is not a security-heavy state. That ministers still trust fellow citizens to sit around with them. It also demonstrates that we will go to any instance to hear concerns about any citizen whether they are liberation veterans or ordinary citizens to listen to the concerns that they put to us. This meeting was not planned as such, we went there because the Presidential Task Team invited us to go because the matter was there. It is also true that we were aware that this particular grouping had started at Luthuli House.

I was prepared to have a meeting and I am still waiting to have a meeting with the military vets, the recognised one, and this particular one which I am still waiting to see if  they will reapply so that they can get recognition from the minister,” says Modise.

Briefing on military veterans:

Meanwhile, Police say the 56 military veterans who have been arrested will be charged with kidnapping.

The military veterans are believed to have belonged to the ANC’s military wing uMkhonto we Sizwe, the PAC’s APLA, and Azapo’s AZANLA.

General Keith Mokoape, a former general of the SANDF, speaks to SABC News about the incident: