Defend Our Democracy Campaign condemns 'hostage drama' in Irene
There should be no place for lawlessness in SA, be it by alleged military veteran hostage takers, warring taxi-drivers and Somali shopkeepers, those behind political killings, or looters and insurrectionists.
The Defend our Democracy Campaign made this remark on Sunday as it condemned the alleged hostage drama which saw two ministers and a deputy minister reportedly being held against their will by a group of military veterans at a hotel in Irene on Thursday.
There was pandemonium in Gqeberha on Wednesday when gunshots were fired and shops and minibus taxis were set alight during a fight between Somalian shop owners and taxi operators.
The campaign, a coalition of individuals formed earlier this year to protect the country's constitutional values, said it was concerned that instead of using available legal mechanisms, the veterans instead saw fit to allegedly hold defence minister Thandi Modise, her deputy, Thabang Makwetla and minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele hostage.
The coalition said the question was whether this incident was simply about military veteran payouts, or if it was done to cast doubt on the ability of the state to deal with the situation, as well as undermine the authority of the defence minister.
“There are many who joined the anti-apartheid armed struggle and mass-based political activity, in and outside the country, selflessly.
“Their lives and careers were severely impacted in the process, but today they have not resorted to thuggery to demand millions off the state,” the coalition said in a statement.
The coalition said the failed insurrection in July that cost 150,000 jobs and R50bn to the economy is something that is fresh in the minds of ordinary people.
It said it was a travesty of justice that the kingpins behind the failed insurrection remain free to do as they please, and potentially organise to cause further destabilisation.