Freed SA hostage begs for husband's freedom

2014-01-16 14:18
Pierre Korkie (Photo supplied)

Pierre Korkie (Photo supplied)

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

Johannesburg - The wife of the man being held by al-Qaeda in Yemen pleaded on Thursday for his release as the kidnappers' deadline for his ransom approached.

Yolande Korkie, wife of Pierre Korkie, appeared gaunt and frail as she read a statement to reporters in Johannesburg.

"Al-Qaeda, I ask to address you. Thank you for releasing me and giving me back to our children, treating us with kindness and respect and bringing my husband medicine."

Speaking softly because of a throat infection, she added: "I'm asking you to release my husband."

She became emotional when talking about her husband.

On Friday, the kidnappers demanded payment of about R32.5m within eight days to secure Korkie's release.

Negotiations had not been going well, said Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, head of the Gift of the Givers Foundation, which negotiated Yolande's release last week.

‘No money, price too high’

The organisation's officer manager in Yemen, Anas al-Hamati, started face-to-face talks with the kidnappers, linked to al-Qaeda, on Monday night.

"While Anas was with them the al-Qaeda guys called me and asked what's the problem. I said there's no money, the price is too high and the time is too short," Sooliman said earlier in the week.

"Anas discussed the same points. They kept on saying if we don't have the money by Friday it will be the end for Pierre."

Yolande Korkie arrived back in South Africa on Monday afternoon, international relations and co-operation department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

The couple was captured in the city of Taiz in May.

Sooliman said on Monday Al-Hamati would take copies of Korkie's South African passport to the kidnappers to prove he was not American, because the amount of money they wanted was outrageous.

Sooliman said at the time that Al-Hamati had "good rapport" with the kidnappers.

"We are hoping we can convince them we need more time."

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  gift of the givers  |  yemen  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

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


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 network.


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.