Yolande Korkie pictured embracing her husband

2014-12-09 12:35
Yolande Korkie. (File, AFP)

Yolande Korkie. (File, AFP)

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In our hearts Pierre will never die - Yolande Korkie

2014-12-09 13:15

Speaking to the media for the first time since the death of her husband Pierre Korkie at the hands of al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, Yolande Korkie said Pierre's death was "God's will". Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Yolande Korkie visualised embracing her husband Pierre on his return from Yemen, but instead felt intense pain as his remains arrived in the country on Tuesday morning.

"I visualised something different, him holding me in his arms, hearing his soft voice," she told reporters in Johannesburg, shortly after his remains arrived at Waterkloof Airforce base.

"This morning, there was intense emotions of longing. We will never have him physically again but in our hearts he will never die."

Korkie and American photographer Luke Somers were killed during an attempt by US special forces to free them from their al-Qaeda captors in Yemen in the early hours of Saturday. His body arrived in South Africa on Tuesday morning.

Korkie and Yolande were kidnapped by al-Qaeda militants in Taiz, Yemen, last May. Yolande was released on 10 January and returned to South Africa on 13 January.

The Gift of the Givers helped negotiate her release. The kidnappers demanded a R32.5m ransom in exchange for Korkie's safe return.

At the time of the kidnapping, Korkie was a teacher in Yemen, while Yolande did relief work in hospitals.

Yolande said her children never got to say goodbye to their father.

"They never got to say goodbye. I had eight months with him in captivity," she said.

His last words to Yolande while they held each other was: "I love you and tell the children I love them."

His memorial will be held in Bloemfontein on Friday at 10:00. The venue had not yet been chosen. This would be followed by a private burial.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  gift of the givers  |  yolande korkie  |  pierre korkie  |  us  |  yemen

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