Former SA hostages face bitterness, split

2012-11-19 08:46
Debbie Calitz and  Bruno Pelizzari (File, AFP)

Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari (File, AFP)

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Durban - Five months after their release by Somali pirates, former South African hostages Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari are no longer together and relations between them and family members are strained, allegedly over money.

Calitz told the Sunday Tribune that she and Pelizzari were getting on with their lives separately following their ordeal.

Both had been warmly welcomed back by their own families, but the relationship between Calitz and Pelizzari’s sister, Vera Hecht, is said to be difficult due to wrangling over money.  

Hecht had raised more than R1m in ransom money for the couple and this has been put in a trust. Most of this money, which was raised by South Africans, is still in the trust as no ransom was paid.

You magazine reported that the two women argued over the money in the trust and Calitz felt Hecht tried to drive her and Pelizzari apart.

This was denied by Hecht who said: “I have no reason to do that. Their relationship is entirely their own business. They are adults and I don’t care in the least if they are together or apart.”

Calitz told the Sunday Tribune: “I have been told that I would help a lot of people by becoming a guest speaker and sharing our ordeal and what reserves I had to draw on to survive.

“I am thinking about it, but for now my focus is on having the loveliest Christmas imaginable with my kids. Other people’s karma can sort itself out, as it always does.”

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