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One of the 53 military veterans arrested for allegedly holding cabinet ministers hostage has died

12 May 2022 - 11:54
Some of the war veterans in court after their arrest. File photo.
Some of the war veterans in court after their arrest. File photo.
Image: Jacques Nelles/Pool Feed/The Citizen

One of the 53 military veterans arrested for allegedly holding cabinet ministers hostage last year has died.

The Liberation Struggle War Veterans of SA (LSWV-SA) said Nonhlanhla Masedi Dhlamini died after being in and out of a coma in different hospitals.

“Liberation Struggle War Veterans of SA is deeply saddened by her death and conveys its deep and heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and comrades in the mass democratic movement, fraternal organisations and other liberation movements. We wish her family strength and courage during this difficult moment,” said LSWV-SA spokesperson Mduduzi Chiyi.

TimesLIVE previously reported that Modise, her deputy Thabang Makwetla and minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele were allegedly prevented from leaving a meeting at a hotel in Tshwane.

Police intervened after veterans barricaded the doors with chairs and refused to allow the three to leave.

According to Sunday Times their demands included the payment of R4.2m to each of 9,000 veterans at a total cost of more than R37bn.

The police initially arrested 56 people, three of whom were released as they were identified as staff members.

All accused are facing 27 charges: one count of conspiracy to kidnap and 26 counts for kidnapping.

All 53 arrested veterans were released on bail.

Chiyi charged that Dhlamini was arrested with her other 52 comrades and “sustained complications due to a stun grenade attack” which led to further health complications.

“She is a victim of the brutality of people in power who forgot the role she played in the struggle for liberation. She died fighting, she does not know the democracy that is spoken about. She never tasted the fruits of the revolution that she fought for,” he said.

He said Dhlamini, affectionately known as Ntsoaki, was dedicated to the selfless struggle for liberation.

“She was a courageous and principled leader of the Liberation Struggle War Veterans of SA who demonstrated a worthy cause in fighting first for liberation and democratic order and recently for the plight of all struggle war veterans in SA,” he said.

Meanwhile, the veterans will be back in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on May 17 for their case.

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