Korkie family to use donations for 'fresh start'

2014-12-20 11:01
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 - The R1.7m that was raised to help kidnap victim Pierre Korkie and his family after his expected release in Yemen, will now assist his widow and children start afresh, a family spokesperson said on Saturday.

"It's Yolande and the two kids [left] and they have to make a fresh start," said Daan Nortier.

"A trust has been created to give it [the money] a new life."

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 on 6 December.

At the time, the South African charity, the Gift of the Givers had already negotiated his imminent release.

R32.5m demanded

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.

Previously, the kidnappers had demanded a US$3m (about R32.5m) ransom in exchange for Korkie's safe return.

However, Nortjie said on Saturday that, according to the final agreement that Gift of the Givers had reached with his captors, the money raised in South Africa had not been needed to secure his freedom.

"[The R1.7m] was not a ransom to negotiate the release."

Instead, he said, the donations had always been allocated to assist with Pierre Korkie's return and the family's resettlement in South Africa - since the family had previously been based in Yemen.

Nortier said that the money had already been sent to Yemen before Korkie was killed, but that it was now available for the family in South Africa.

Kids in terrible shock

The family's spokesperson said that Yolande, son Pieter-Ben, age 17, and 15-year-old daughter Lize-Marie, were still in "terrible shock" but were being supported with "vast love...from all over".

"Yolande is a woman of faith and she is being borne by her faith," he said.

At the time of the kidnappings, Korkie was a teacher in Yemen, while his wife did relief work in hospitals.

Korkie's body was repatriated back to South Africa earlier this month.

The family subsequently held a memorial service in Bloemfontein, before he was buried in a private ceremony.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  yolande korkie  |  pierre korkie  |  yemen  |  security

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