Pirates 'sell' kidnapped SA couple

2012-02-22 10:43

Durban - A South African couple who were kidnapped over a year ago off the African coast have apparently been sold to new kidnappers who are now demanding a higher ransom for their release.

Aid organisation Gift of the Givers revealed that the pirates who originally kidnapped Bruno Pelizzari and Deborah Calitz had sold them to another gang of pirates who then also sold them to other people, The Times reported.

The aid organisation has been negotiating on behalf of Pelizzari’s family to secure their release.

A spokesperson said they had found out that the couple had been sold twice and were now being held by Somali “businessmen” wanting to recover the money they had spent buying the couple.

It is believed that the couple have been moved further south of Mogadishu.

The first kidnappers had demanded $4m (about R30m). The latest ransom amount is many more millions.

The couple are said to be healthy, although a bit rundown.

Family members say they were raising funds to pay the kidnappers, but have nowhere near the amount demanded by the pirates.

  • Brett - 2012-02-22 10:47

    And the useless ANC government stands idly by.

      David - 2012-02-22 11:04

      Yep. This was on 94.7 the other day and the only thing that our government has offered is counceling for the family, absolutely disgusting. No Govt negotiates with terrorists but some do send in the special forces and get their people back.

      JasonEye - 2012-02-22 11:14

      Are our boys at 4 recce still operational? serious question. If they are then whats the problem.............go and get our people home FFS!

      FlowingRivers - 2012-02-22 11:45


      David - 2012-02-22 11:50

      @flowing rivers - there has been a campaign running for some time now already - SMS "SOS" to 38417 at only R10 a hit

      Felix - 2012-02-22 11:58

      @FlowingRiver, we already send them hundreds a month (well those of us with jobs) and they spend it on jets and partying.

  • Kim Rutgers - 2012-02-22 10:55

    I still can't get it over my heart that our government officials spend lavishly on hotels and the high life! Surely the tax payers money could get them home already! R30mil is pocket change for the presidency when lives are at risk! What crap support from our leaders. Our finance minister should include things like this in the financial report.

  • Samantha - 2012-02-22 11:02

    This article is false as the Times reported an incorrect article. For more information please visit the facebook page - sos bruno & debbie.

  • Craig - 2012-02-22 11:05

    What is our Government doing about this, and more importantly why are we not utilizing our Army forces who are doing absolutely nothing. It's a disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-02-22 11:17

      I don't think we have the forces required to do the job any longer. We need the help of the British SAS or the Israeli's to pull this off.

  • fezisa.mdibi - 2012-02-22 11:11

    I know Debbie personally and she is a soft spoken peaceful soul! This is just too sad :(

  • Mpho Gwala - 2012-02-22 11:11

    Why is the government being blamed here?

      rvandenheever - 2012-02-22 11:36

      Simple my friend. When you are a citizen of a country the government is supposed to protect you (doesn't matter you you vote for). A novel concept in our country I know. But when you run into a problem in a foreign country (not for crimminals) they are supposed to use diplomatic means to secure your safe return. If diplomatic means fail alternative means can be used to secure your freedom. It is the governments responsibility to act according to international accepted norms. At the same time our two South Africans was kidnapped people from other nationalities was also taken hostage by pirates. The other nationalities are back in their countries. It seems the South African government just don't care or don't know what to do.

      Perfume - 2012-02-22 11:50

      They are CITIZENS of South Africa, so government should assist - in fact they should of stepped in a long time to assist in the rescuing of this couple.

      David - 2012-02-22 11:52

      About a month ago the US sent a navy seal team into Somalia to rescue one of their citizens - enough said.

      Jaffea Joe - 2012-02-22 11:59

      We are a 3rd world county and do not have the resources like the US. You people complain when the government wants to spend billions on National security, and bitch when our security force isn't world class. wat wil julle?

      Heibrin - 2012-02-22 12:35

      @Jaffea: and once we had a first world country's special forces, thanks to your ANC government's decision to disband them we no longer have that capability.

  • Charmain - 2012-02-22 11:14

    Brett I agree the Anc will rather stuff themselves than hel any of our people dlawre30 I aslo agree with you, but let it be ANC member they would be home long ago. I wish the DA was in power maybe just maybe we will get this country right as we are heading for Zim

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-22 11:39

      Just wish

  • Craig - 2012-02-22 11:41

    Why cant the Task Force go in and get them???

  • Craig - 2012-02-22 11:44

    I once asked an American friend if he was sacred to travel in Africa - diamond trading at the mines deep in the bush. He said NO because he knows that the US Marines are only 48 hours away...

      Jaffea Joe - 2012-02-22 11:56

      Yeah, but thats America. number 1 terrorists

      Heibrin - 2012-02-22 12:36

      @Jaffea: No, number 1 caretakers of their people, unlike our local govt.

  • Desireé - 2012-02-22 11:45

    I can't believe that our goverment are so pathetic. They would rather spend millions on their fancy opening ceremony than save peoples lives. Well done to 94.7 for their initiative to collect money for the family.

  • Graeme - 2012-02-22 11:45

    This Hollywood notion that you just send in "seal teams/SAS" is just plain short sighted. The US avoids Somalia like the plague following the well documented "black Hawk Down" incident and instead makes use of other illegal means to get results - which they have failed to do. No government negotiates with terrorists and by doing all this public fundraising and drawing attention to the amounts raised so far (while a commendable effort to help) only makes the kidnappers/businessmen more likely to up the ransom. With the large number of Somalis in South Africa do you all seriously think that there are no interlocutors for the kidnappers here who provide information. Get all the facts before you all just jump on the govt bashing bandwagon and conjure up "hollywood scenarios"

      Heibrin - 2012-02-22 12:39

      Greame, as much as you'd like to think of special forces operations as 'hollywood scenarios', the ones that reach the news aren't even 1% of what's happening. Besides which, for a government not doing anything (I have yet to hear them hound the UN for a resolution to the problem?) the bashing is fair, and well deserved.

  • Barry - 2012-02-22 11:49

    MSC Sinfonia could start cruises up and down the Somali coast. Passengers could hire a variety of weapons ranging from assault rifles to rocket launchers, when the pirates appear "pop a pirate" competition starts, prizes awarded for most pirates bagged, only problem is pirates would become an endangered species

  • Dave - 2012-02-22 11:59

    Absolutely barbaric !!! reading between the lines though if Somali businessmen have them now it would be a lot easier to kick their arses and rescue them than if they were being held in a fully armed pirate's camp. Didn't the yanks just free some of their's? and I'm sure the french also got invloved with a couple of their's.

  • wmkhize - 2012-02-22 12:00

    Mozzat pulled a rescue mission of a hijacked plane full of jews about 30yrs ago in Uganda, why doesnt our government ask them how they didi it, and send the useless SANDF to rescue them?

  • Mlungisi - 2012-02-22 12:05

    Someone plz remind me: what was their business there?

      Heibrin - 2012-02-22 12:42

      How about tourism? You know, that act where foreigners (to your country / region / city) show up, look around, spend money and leave. But then, tourism is far less profitable than kidnapping.

  • Zeb - 2012-02-22 12:14

    But what do we expect our gov to do,besides pleading with captors? It s very tricky indeed.

      Patrick - 2012-02-22 12:52

      Zeb. Stupid people who watch too many movies. There are other Americans still being held in Somalia plus plenty of other (first world) nationalities. If it was as easy as just sending special forces, they would be home. Paying ronsoms will only endanger other South Africans who find themselves in the region because the pirates will know they can extract money out of the governement. Use your heads people.

  • samgaf - 2012-02-22 12:15

    no-one in their right frame of mind sails around Somalia

      David - 2012-02-22 12:22

      They were sailing from Dar es Salaam to Richards bay and highjacked in the Mozambique channel. Nowhere near Somalia.

  • Shelly - 2012-02-22 12:36

    The sad fact is that years ago we could also be anywhere in africa in 48 hours. Shows how bad and decrepid our armed forces and security network have become. Now we cant even protect our own borders, never mind rescuing our citizens in other countries!!WTF

  • Cina - 2012-02-22 12:37

    The government don't want to negotiate with pirates but they can can negotiate with other countries to have drug mules released so what is the difference. In actual fact drug mules still kills people Bruno and Debbie didn't kill anybody.

  • flysouth - 2012-02-22 13:14

    Whilst I agree that the SA government should be doing much more here, I also have no time for fools who place themselves deliberately in harms way and then demand that 'somebody' helps them out of their self-made predicament. We have all known about piracy around the Horn of Africa for many years - why even think about sailing past there without heavy weapons aboard like these folks did?

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