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South African police detain 56 for holding cabinet ministers hostage

South African police on Friday arrested 56 people for allegedly abducting and holding two cabinet ministers and a deputy minister hostage.

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South African police detain 56 for holding cabinet ministers hostage
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The suspects are likely face charges of abduction, police said.

The ministers were held hostage for three hours when a meeting with military veterans of the fight against apartheid ended in disagreement.

Police were called to a hotel in the Centurion area near the capital Pretoria on Thursday night to rescue Defense and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise, her deputy minister Thabang Makwetla, and Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, who had been meeting with veterans of various groups that were part of the armed struggle which started in the 1960s against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

The meeting broke down quickly and the three government officials were prevented from leaving the room by some of the veterans, Gungubele said.

Police tried to negotiate with the hostage-takers and when that failed they “resorted to a tactical approach and successfully rescued the hostages,” the South African Police Services said. Police said no shots were fired in the operation, denying allegations by some veterans that they were shot at. Three of the people who were arrested were sent for medical checkups, police said. Of the 56 arrested, seven were women.

Gungubele said the meeting was an attempt to address the grievances of the veterans’ groups, who want, among other things, cash payouts and housing and medical benefits for their service during the fight for democracy in South Africa more than 25 years ago.

The veterans’ latest demand is that they should each be paid the equivalent of $270,000 and receive other benefits. The meeting was called off almost as soon as it started, Gungubele said.
“As we were leaving the meeting, proceeding to the doors, they (the veterans) closed the doors,” he said. “It is at that point when we realized that we’re held hostage. It’s a situation that was averted by the security forces, very effectively and successfully.”

In a statement, the South African government conceded its discussions with the veterans’ groups had been “difficult” but “there was no reason for this group to act in an unlawful manner.”

The military veterans’ groups say they’ve been ignored by the ruling African National Congress party in South Africa despite their role in helping to overthrow the apartheid government and end white minority rule, paving the way for the ANC to win the first democratic elections in 1994. The ANC has been in government since then.

But the veterans’ groups have faced criticism themselves, for allegedly being infiltrated by some who were not involved in the fight for democracy and for demanding rewards not available to ordinary South Africans who also fought against apartheid.

SOURCE: ARAB NEWS 

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Pakistan

Body of missing instructor pilot recovered from Balochistan

Pilot of a gyrocopter died as the small lightweight aircraft crashed

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Body of missing instructor pilot recovered from Balochistan

Karachi: The dead body of Qazi Ajmal, an instructor pilot who has been missing for three days, has been recovered from Kand Malir, Balochistan.

According to details, a pilot of a gyrocopter died as the small lightweight aircraft crashed in Awaran area of ​​Balochistan. He flew from Karachi last night with his gyrocopter and entered Balochistan.

Balochistan Wildlife official Amanullah Sajidi confirmed that the plane crashed at Poldat area near Hingol National Park. The aircraft crashed after hitting mountain.

Qazi Ajmal belongs to the famous Qazi family of Peshawar and SP Lasbela Ayub Achakzai has also confirmed that Qazi Ajmal's zero helicopter was found in the area of Kand Malir.

SP Lasbela said that the body of Qazi Ajmal was being shifted from Kand Malir to Hub.

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Polling of NA 133 by-election concludes, vote counting underway

NA-133 seat fell vacant after the death of PML-N MNA Pervaiz Malik who died of heart complications on October 11.

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Polling of NA 133 by-election concludes, vote counting underway

Lahore: Polling of NA-133 Lahore by-election has concluded and the counting of votes has begun across the 254 polling stations in the constituency, considered a "stronghold" of the PML-N.

According to details, the polling started at 8am this morning and continued till 5pm without any break after which the gates to the polling stations were closed off to any more voters.

The seat had fallen vacant after the death of PML-N leader Pervaiz Malik who died of heart complications on October 11. His wife, Shaista Pervaiz Malik is the PML-N candidate, whereas the PPP fielded Aslam Gill for the election.

Moreover, ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates Jamshed Iqbal Cheema has been disqualified from contesting the election on technical grounds and his appeal has been earlier rejected by the election tribunal and later by the high court.

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Pakistan

Pakistan reports 10 deaths as ongoing impact of COVID-19 weakens  

Around 336 fresh coronavirus cases emerged while 10 people succumbed to the disease in last 24 hours amid 'Omicron' threat.

Published by Mehak Javed

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Pakistan reports 10 deaths as ongoing impact of COVID-19 weakens  

Islamabad:  Amid a steady decline in Covid-19 infections, Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio further fell to 0.78%, the total death toll reached to 28,777. 

Around 336 fresh coronavirus cases emerged while 10 people succumbed to the disease in last 24 hours amid 'Omicron' threat.

Pakistan’s government will step up COVID-19 vaccination efforts and is expanding the criteria for vaccine booster shots, amid fears of the Omicron variant.

According to the latest figures issued by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 336 persons were tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. 

The total number of cases has reached 1,287,161. 

As many as 1,246,464 patients have recovered from the disease.

Punjab

The number of patients swelled to 443,519 in the province with 13,041 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 476,830 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,626.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 180,383 in the province with 5,862 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 33,507 confirmed cases while 360 patients have died from the infection so far.

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There are 34,579 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 742. On the other hand, there are 10,413 cases in GB with 186 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 107,930 cases in the capital city while 960 people have lost their lives.

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