South Africa
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MPs condemn conduct of military veterans after hostage drama

MPs have condemned the action of military veterans who took Defence Minister Thandi Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele hostage this week.

Chairperson of the National Assembly committee on defence Cyril Xaba said the country would not allow the behaviour of that nature.

He said mechanisms were created in the past to resolve the outstanding issues faced by the military veterans.

“While we are aware and note the challenges faced by military veterans especially regarding the inadequacies with the (Department of Military Veterans) DMV, we remain unambiguously in opposing coercion and violence as a means to resolve these challenges,” said Xaba.

“The committee is of the view that the action of the group (on Thursday) undermined what is a legitimate call for quality service delivery as per the mandate of the DMV and has a potential to delegitimise grievances that are legitimate and genuine.

“We call on the government and military veterans to work together in a constructive manner to find solutions to this impasse,” he said.

The hostage drama led Police Minister Bheki Cele to dispatch members of the Special Task Force to rescue the ministers.

The task force was also backed up by the specialised units of the police including the National Intervention Unit and the Tactical Response Team.

Modise has said they were still willing to engage members of the military veterans.

They wanted to create avenues of discussion to resolve their concerns.

The department of Defence and Military Veterans would also conduct an investigation into what happened to the money that was previously allocated to military veterans for their benefits, said Modise.