SA hostage ‘dreamed of chocolate cake’

2012-06-25 09:07

The horrific details of the conditions under which a South African couple were kept hostage in Somalia for 20 months have started to emerge.

Bruno Pelizarri, who holds dual Italian and SA citizenship, is currently in Italy where he is visiting his mother and preparing to give evidence before an Italian court about the Somalis who captured him, reported the Weekend Argus.

More details will emerge during their testimony.

His sister, Vera Hecht, said her brother and his South African girlfriend Debbie Calitz, might look thin now, but had actually been emaciated before being fattened up by their captors prior to their release.

They were extremely pale from being locked up in the dark.

She said their mother was “ecstatic” about her son’s release after 20 months in captivity.

The Times reported that Pelizzari had dreamed of chocolate cake while in captivity and still couldn’t believe that he was able to make coffee now whenever he wanted to.

“I feel fantastic. It’s really good to be free. I’m overwhelmed by the support,” Pelizzari said in a telephonic interview.

The couple were freed in a raid on Mogadishu in an operation in which several governments and organisations had a part, including the Italian government.

Details of the raid and the ransom paid have been sketchy until now. 

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