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Thirteen military vets accused in Cabinet ministers hostage drama granted R500 bail each

The Star logo The Star 2021/10/19 Ntombi Nkosi
© Provided by Daily News

Thirteen of the 53 military veterans accused of holding Cabinet ministers hostage have been granted R500 bail each.

Magistrate Bheki Ntshingila made the ruling on Tuesday and postponed the matter to February 1.

The 13 are facing schedule one offences.

On Tuesday, state prosecutor Sanet Jacobson indicated that they were now looking at 27 charges.

According to Jacobson, the profiles of the accused had been submitted but that only addressed 13 people. No pending convictions had been verified.

In her submissions, Jacobson also delved into how the accused were associated with the incident.

“In terms of association and court participations, I can’t inform the court … that accused number one was the one who shouted at the minister. The video needs to be analysed and for that the State needs time, which it wasn’t granted. So at this stage we can’t say accused number one did this, accused number two did that. We are relying on a common purpose and say that everyone was actively involved,” Jacobson said.

The court also heard that at least 9 military veterans were facing a schedule five offence and would also apply for bail according to the charges they were facing.

Jacobson said the State was pushing for bail to ensure that those accused would appear in court.

She said the State asked that bail be secured at R2 000 each.

But advocate Dali Mpofu, who represented most of the military veterans, argued that this amount was too high.

“The amount must be fixed at R500 each,” he said, adding that most of those accused were unemployed.

By midday, the court was still expected to detail the bail application of the other veterans.

The accused were arrested after Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise, her deputy, Thabang Makwetla, and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele were held against their will at the St George’s Hotel in Irene.

Political Bureau

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