Korkie's teary reunion with negotiator

2015-08-23 12:10
Yolande Korkie. (File: AFP)

Yolande Korkie. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – Former al-Qaeda captive Yolande Korkie had an emotional reunion in Bloemfontein at the weekend with the Gift of the Givers' negotiator Anas al-Hamati, who helped secure her release in Yemen.

 “Yolande has met her negotiator for the first time,” said Gift of the Givers event co-ordinator Emily Thomas.

 “When they met it was quite emotional.  She was grateful to him… He also felt that he failed because he could not get [her husband] Pierre released.”

Bloemfontein teacher Pierre Korkie and his wife Yolande were kidnapped by al-Qaeda militants in Taiz, Yemen, in May 2013.

She was released eight months later and returned to South Africa as Gift of the Givers continued to negotiate her husband's release.

Ransom money

Korkie and American photographer Luke Somers were, however, killed during an attempt by the US special forces to free them from their al-Qaeda captors on December 6 2014.

At the time, al-Hamati had already secured a deal with al-Qaeda for Korkie's release. The kidnappers demanded about R32.5m in exchange for Korkie's safe return.

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

News24 reported at the time that the foundation had tried to make contact with al-Qaeda through international media and circulated an interview with their office manager in Yemen, Anas al-Hamati.

Al-Hamati was forced to leave Yemen at the end of January for his own safety after al-Qaeda accused him of stealing the ransom money.

Tribal leaders in Yemen then took over the talks with al-Qaeda.

Hunger and suffering

Thomas said Yolande had taken al-Hamati to her house to meet her teenage children.

“They could talk about their experiences… She is in the process of writing a book.”

Al-Hamati is in South Africa for six months with his wife and two young children.  She said al-Hamati wanted to use his time in the country to highlight the plight in Yemen: “Their hunger and their suffering… It’s still just in crisis.”

After his time in South Africa, Al-Hamati was determined to return and help in Yemen again, on behalf of Gift of the Givers.

Meanwhile, Yolande Korkie and her children were coping and moving forward, Thomas said.  “They still miss Pierre a lot.  They would have liked things to be different…”

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  gift of the givers  |  yolande korkie  |  pierre korkie  |  bloemfontein  |  yemen  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
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 24.com 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.