Korkie memorial this Friday

Johannesburg - The memorial service for slain teacher Pierre Korkie will be held in the Free State on Friday, a family spokesperson said.

The service would be held at the CRC Church, in Uitsig, Bloemfontein at 10:00, spokesperson Daan Nortier said in a statement.

"The burial will be later and restricted to the family and invited friends."

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.

Korkie and his wife 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, which helped in negotiating with al-Qaeda, said Korkie died a day before he was due to be released following a negotiated deal.

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Tuesday could not clarify whether her department knew that Korkie's release had apparently been secured.

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