Case against 52 military veterans dropped due to lack of evidence – NPA | News24

  • The NPA says the case in opposition to army veterans was withdrawn as a consequence of lack of proof and the and a few complainants now not prepared to proceed with the case.
  • It mentioned their arrests had been achieved in a way that made it exhausting to determine particular person acts dedicated by every accused. 
  • The case was withdrawn on Tuesday following a brief look by the accused in court docket. 

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it had withdrawn the case in opposition to 52 individuals accused of holding two minsters hostage final 12 months as neither their identities nor particular person acts might be confirmed. 

To compound this, a few of these held hostage had been additionally not eager to proceed with the case.

The group had been accused of holding ministers Thandi Modise, Mondli Gungubele and deputy minister Thabang Makwetla hostage final October for shut to a few hours. 

The NPA on Tuesday withdrew the case in opposition to the 52 accused with out providing a lot rationalization for the transfer. 

READ | War vets hostage drama: Makwetla baffled as NPA drops charges after ‘ANC brokered deal’

“The State is of the view that there is no prima facie case because neither the identity nor the individual acts committed by each individual accused can be proven,” it mentioned in an announcement.

The NPA additionally cited the way wherein the arrest was carried out, saying it “also complicated identification as everyone on the scene was arrested except for the hostages”. 

“A process of elimination was then used to establish who were the attendees and or employees of the hotel and who were the actual captors of the alleged hostage victims. After that process, the police released some of the people who could not be linked before they even appeared in court.

The scene of the alleged crime.

“The accused now earlier than the court docket can’t be linked to the offence for the explanations acknowledged,” reads the statement. 

READ | Case against military vets who allegedly held ministers hostage withdrawn

Yet another reason advanced for the withdrawal was that some complainants were also reluctant to proceed with the matter and sympathised with the accused. 

“In their statements, some indicated that they joined within the singing and dancing within the room along with the veterans. One witness mentioned in his assertion that there was by no means a hostile atmosphere within the room. Witnesses had been unable to determine who carried out what act on the scene,” the statement says. 

News24 reported that a deal had been brokered by the ANC, but that it had left the likes of Makwetla baffled as to what had led to the withdrawal. He and the two ministers had submitted affidavits detailing their ordeal. 

Initially, there were 53 accused, but one has since died. 

The arrested veterans were facing 27 charges: one count of conspiracy to kidnap and 26 counts of kidnapping. 

All arrested veterans had been released on bail, and given that the case would not be going ahead, the NPA confirmed that they would be reimbursed. 

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