Johannesburg - Stephen McGown, a South African who has been held hostage in Mali for more than five years, has been released.
This was announced by International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at a post-Cabinet lekgotla media briefing on Thursday.
He was released on July 29.
Nkoana-Mashabane said McGown was in good health, but had undergone a medical check-up. This is normal procedure given the experience he had been through, she added.
McGown was abducted in November 2011 at a hostel in Timbuktu together with Swedish national Johan Gustaffsson, who was released in June.
He was held by AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), an Islamist militant organisation.
McGown's mother died in May, after a long illness.
"We give him a warm welcome back home particularly that he lands home with a mother who has passed on during his incarceration," AFP quoted Nkoana-Mashabane as saying.
"He was just a tourist in Timbuktu. We are happy that he is a free man."
Nkoana-Mashabane also said the government was "appalled" by Al-Qaeda kidnapping innocent citizens.
Min Mkoana Mashabane announces that Stephen McGown, who was kidnaped on Mali has been released #PostCabinet— SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) August 3, 2017