Freed hostages to visit family first

2012-06-26 00:00

DURBANITES may have to wait a little longer for the homecoming of Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari, who were freed in Somalia last week after being held hostage for 20 months.

Vera Hecht, Pelizzari’s sister who handled negotiations with their captors, yesterday told The Witness they were not sure when the pair would return to Durban.

“We are still in Italy. We will be leaving tomorrow and land in South Africa on Wednesday [tomorrow]. Because we have family in Johannesburg we will be staying with them for a few days and only then will we be in Durban.”

She said Calitz’s children had unexpectedly arrived in Italy.

“Debbie’s daughters, Kerri-Ann Cross and Jackie and her son Jason just arrived and they are so happy to see them. “But we will have some difficulties arranging to travel back as the number has increased from four to seven after the arrival of the children.”

Even Pelizzari’s mother, Francesca, would join the family in South Africa.

Tributes and words of gratitude have been posted by friends and family on the SOS Bruno and Debbie Facebook page. Postings included one by Colin Abbood who wrote, “Bring them home soon, I miss them all too much!” and one by Moira Ball said, “Vera you are an awesome Woman”.

The pair were held just 40 km from the Somali capital of Mogadishu in an Al-Shabaab facility before they were freed.

They were taken hostage in October 2010 after armed Somali pirates hijacked their yacht as it was about to enter the Mozambique channel.

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. 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

Traffic Alerts
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.