Pirates demand R33m for SA hostages
Johannesburg - Somali pirates who kidnapped a South African couple last year have demanded a $4m (R33m) ransom from the family, according to a newspaper report on Monday.
Durban residents Bruno Pelizzari and Deborah Calitz were sailing off the coast of Tanzania when pirates boarded their yacht and captured them on October 26 last year.
Speaking to The Sowetan newspaper on Sunday, Pelizzari's sister Vera said Bruno had phoned her on September 5 appealing for the ransom to be paid.
"I know you are doing everything you can. If they do not get the ransom, they are going to kill us," Pelizzari reportedly told his sibling.
This was the first time Vera had been in contact with her brother and she said a pirate named Ali had been calling her weekly since then.
"I explained to him that we are not rich. I told him that it is going to take time to get the money. We have been forced to beg for donations," she said.