Pierre Korkie’s captors ‘just cut the call’

2014-01-17 17:44

Gift of the Givers Foundation chairperson Imtiaz Sooliman says they have not heard from the Yemeni captors of Pierre Korkie since yesterday.

The people who abducted Korkie had given the foundation and Korkie’s family until today to raise the R32 million ransom they want to secure his release.

The foundation and Korkie’s wife, Yolande, have asked for the deadline to be extended by a month, and for the men to show mercy to their abducted Bloemfontein teacher by releasing him without conditions.

In a statement, Sooliman said they had called the captors yesterday evening to explain that the plea for the extension of the deadline did not mean that they would be able to automatically raise the ransom money.

“When we gave that clarification, it was the first time in eleven days that there was an ominous silence. They didn’t respond, comment, acknowledge or say anything. They just cut the call.

“We tried for a second time but they refused to answer that call. It was at that time that Anas al-Hamati, our office manager, was concerned about his own security. It was on Monday that they told him since you don’t have 3 million dollars maybe we should take you away,” Sooliman said.

The exact whereabouts of the South African teacher are unknown, he said.

“We can only hope that Yolande’s international call for ‘a stay-in-execution’ is acted upon by favourable decision makers,” he said.

International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim is due to fly to Yemen tomorrow to negotiate the release of Korkie, who has been held captive since May last year.

According to Gift of the Givers, the deadline for paying the ransom is 6am tomorrow.

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