Calitz: We felt good vibes from SA

2012-06-27 22:37
Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz in Johannesburg. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz in Johannesburg. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A tearful Debbie Calitz said at her arrival along with her partner Bruno Pelizzari on Wednesday that something kept them strong during their 20 months in captivity in Somalia.

"We must have felt the vibrations of South African people there, because something kept us strong," a tearful Calitz told media, friends and family at the OR Tambo International Airport.

"I thought it was a guardian angel... I think it was all the people... Thank you South Africa, we love you."

The pair arrived from Rome.

They were kidnapped on a yacht off the south-eastern coast of Africa by Somali pirates in October 2010.

They were held hostage until their release on Thursday last week.

Somali officials said on Thursday last week that the two had been freed in an operation by security forces and the army from "al-Qaeda-affiliated" insurgents.

The South African government helped secure their freedom in a joint effort with Italy and Somalia.

Calitz said they were treated "like animals" and handcuffed 24 hours a day during their captivity. Baths were limited and they were fed a high starch diet of rice, bread and pasta.

"It was just horrible."

She said the first thing she would do when she got home was to sleep for a while.

Freedom

Both became new grandparents during their captivity, with Calitz acquiring two new grandsons and Pelizzari one.

"We haven't met them yet. It's going to be great. We are home, we are safe. There's lots of reuniting to be done," Calitz said.

Pelizzari, who spoke with difficulty, said he was a new man.

"It would take me four lifetimes to repay everybody."

Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane welcomed the pair home, and jokingly asked if they had kissed the ground yet.

 She said it had been a very emotional and happy moment for two.

"You are home. Welcome home."

Nkoana-Mashabane thanked the South African, Somali and Italian governments for aiding in the couple's release.

"No one is going to take this freedom away from you."

She said the government would continue its efforts to bring back other South Africans held captive in other countries.

"We haven't given up."
- SAPA
Read more on:    deborah calitz  |  maite nkoana-mashabane  |  bruno pelizzari  |  somalia  |  sa  |  good news  |  pirates  |  east africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

The truth about painkillers and exercise

Many of us use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to mask pain so they can continue with their training.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
This is why you need to get fit in your 20's

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.