Former SA hostages face bitterness, split

2012-11-19 08:46

Durban - Five months after their release by Somali pirates, former South African hostages Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari are no longer together and relations between them and family members are strained, allegedly over money.

Calitz told the Sunday Tribune that she and Pelizzari were getting on with their lives separately following their ordeal.

Both had been warmly welcomed back by their own families, but the relationship between Calitz and Pelizzari’s sister, Vera Hecht, is said to be difficult due to wrangling over money.  

Hecht had raised more than R1m in ransom money for the couple and this has been put in a trust. Most of this money, which was raised by South Africans, is still in the trust as no ransom was paid.

You magazine reported that the two women argued over the money in the trust and Calitz felt Hecht tried to drive her and Pelizzari apart.

This was denied by Hecht who said: “I have no reason to do that. Their relationship is entirely their own business. They are adults and I don’t care in the least if they are together or apart.”

Calitz told the Sunday Tribune: “I have been told that I would help a lot of people by becoming a guest speaker and sharing our ordeal and what reserves I had to draw on to survive.

“I am thinking about it, but for now my focus is on having the loveliest Christmas imaginable with my kids. Other people’s karma can sort itself out, as it always does.”

  • merushan - 2012-11-19 09:01

    Buy weapons with th donated money and go shoot those pirates!

  • briana.scott - 2012-11-19 09:20

    How sad that their split has become news. They should be allowed to deal with this in private without any speculation from anyone. It is none of our business.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-19 11:28

      I do not think that ANY amount of money can make up for what Debbie went through. To be kept naked and raped all the time, will traumatize her forever. The poor woman, she needs care.

      WarrenStylin - 2012-11-19 14:39

      What happened to the woman is bad and she should get help to cope. But, the sister should give the money back to the people that donated it, as it wasn't used.

  • ivan.faught - 2012-11-19 09:21

    Money, money , money......

      stertjie.stert - 2012-11-19 09:46

      money is not the problem - the love of money is the problem

  • arlene.blackburn.1 - 2012-11-19 09:22

    After a traumatic life experience like that, and surviving it as a couple, it's so sad that they will go their seperate ways.

  • chris.gill.9849 - 2012-11-19 09:23

    So does Hecht want to keep that money that's in the trust? Why are we only getting half a story?

      michelle.h.koekemoer - 2012-11-19 12:02

      According to Sunday Tribune the money is in a legal trust and any medical / pshyciatric treatment the couple may need will be covered by the trust. Should there be any funds left over they would be donated to a legitimate charity. It didn't seem that the sister had a say over the monies in the trust - attorney's are managing it. Thats how I understood it anyway.

  • nicrsa - 2012-11-19 09:24

    We didnt need to know all.....what about there privacy, haven't they been thugh enough????? Ugly side of journalism right here

      michelle.h.koekemoer - 2012-11-19 12:04

      When you allow your story to be published in the YOU, I would imagine you sort of "waive" any rights to privacy... you can't be picky about what you have said about you and what you don't.

  • - 2012-11-19 09:33

    They are now hostages at home. How sad.

  • Hemlock - 2012-11-19 09:39

    So sad to read that this couple has split especially after the terrible ordeal that they faced together for so long. Best wishes to both of them for the future. I hope they both find happiness and peace.

  • augusto.lugoboni - 2012-11-19 09:41

    The money raised by South Africans should be returned (if a proper database was kept) or should be given to legitimate charity or to help fight rhino poaching. The money doesn't belong to them and if they keep it, they just become common thieves really. Sad that money (and greed) split families apart forever.

      ingrid.renaudgetkate - 2012-11-19 11:33

      split the money equally between them to enable them to get their lives back on track

  • justinasher - 2012-11-19 09:52

    So basically, they raised R1mil for their own benefit? How do we know that wasn't the plan all along? Get kidnapped, raise "randsom money" and booooom; there's your summer holiday..

      hazel.a.hamman - 2012-11-19 11:04

      I agree, shouldnt they give the money back to those that donated it!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ulandi.potgieter - 2012-11-19 11:35

    didn't you know money is the root of all evil in any way you look at it.

  • igshaanp - 2012-11-19 11:36

    seems to me this was a fake hostage deal,i dont think they were kept hostage they were maybe suppose to split the randsom between them

  • GravityRider - 2012-11-19 12:40

    What i dont understand is: why is the money still in trust. Any legal eagles here that can shed light on ownership of that money?

  • jan.vos.353 - 2012-11-20 16:32

    TRAILER TRASH, go see Jerry Springer to sort out your lives.

  • Brian Grant - 2014-03-31 10:20

    Bruno, Has faced his final Lion. one year after their dreaded ordeal. Bruno overcame his fears and set sail from dar es salaam on the same voyage he did when he was captured. This time he did not meet pirates but he did face his own fears and the wrath of the sea that left him with a broken mast half way between Dar es Salaam and Durban. He did what he does best survived, rigged up a temporary sail and sailed into Durban on March the 29th 2014. Bruno we are all proud of you.

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