A video of an armed ex-soldier holding GEPF employees hostage in Durban is circulating on social media. Sources say the man is demanding his pension money in exchange of the hostages. KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson confirms the incident.
“I am going there to the scene and will be able to release further details once I am there. I can confirm that we are aware of a hostage situation. The information we know for now is that there is an employee of GEPF holding people hostage,” he said during a telephone interview.
According to news24, the armed man who held GEPF employees hostage is a retired South African Defence Force soldier irritated by delays in receiving his pension. He retired this year as a soldier.
GEPF spokesperson Matau Molapo also confirms the news and says that the department has been informed about what is happening at the ground.
“We have been informed that an aggrieved GEPF client held officials of the Government Pension Administration Agency (GPAA) hostage at the office. The GEPF has been informed that there was no harm to anyone. The GEPF is appreciative of the efforts of the South African Police Service, office security personnel and employees in dealing with the incident. The necessary counselling will be provided to the affected officials. The GEPF remains committed to engaging with its members with respect to any concerns they have,” Molapo reports.
The KZN police were able to detain the retired soldier in connection with a hostage situation at the offices. Luckily no one was harmed and no gunshots were fired. Members of the public think the government should do something about the pension saying to avoid such scenarios. If there is a next time people might not get out unharmed like this time.