We are not embarrassed about hostage ordeal, says Minister Mondli Gungubele
Share this article:
Cape Town - Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele says they are not embarrassed about being held hostage by military veterans at St George’s Hotel in Pretoria.
Defence Minister Thandi Modise said they were not ashamed but they were uncomfortable about being held against their will.
The ministers were briefing the media on Friday. The hostage drama unfolded the night before. The Special Task Force rescued the two ministers and deputy minister of military veterans Thabang Makwetla.
Gungubele said the government had been engaging with the military veterans since last year, under the leadership of Deputy President David Mabuza.
Mabuza has held several meetings with them and also visited the provinces.
Gungubele said they were held hostage after the military veterans demanded to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mabuza. This led to a standoff.
“We were not embarrassed. Maybe one can say it is not acceptable. In my view we were dealing with a maturing democracy, which enjoins us to listen to our people,” said Gungubele.
Modise said they would have to be careful the next time they went into similar meetings.
“We were not ashamed, we were not threatened. We were uncomfortable being held against our will,” said Modise.
She said it was in the state’s interest to engage the military veterans and address the concerns they had, including their benefits.
Modise said there was no bloodbath during the hostage drama, but they were held against their will.