SA didn’t pay ransom for Durban couple

2012-06-21 14:22

Johannesburg - South Africa thanked the Italian and Somali authorities on Thursday for the safe return of a local couple held captive by pirates for 20 months.

"The couple was released unharmed and is receiving consular support from the South African mission to Somalia, which is based in Nairobi, Kenya," said international relations spokesperson Nelson Kgwete.

"Arrangements are being made for the return of the couple to South Africa."

He said South Africa's ambassador to Somalia, Ndumiso Ntshinga, was in contact with the couple, Deborah Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari.

Somali authorities had confirmed that they were in good health and eager to be reunited with their loved ones.

The two were kidnapped in October 2010 from a yacht off the south-eastern coast of Africa. Their pirate captors originally demanded a ransom of $10m.

Kgwete told eNews that it was the "policy of the South African government not to pay ransoms" but refused to state whether or not Italy paid a ransom.

The Associated Press reported that the couple was among the longest-held hostages by pirates.

At a press conference in Somalia's presidential palace in Mogadishu, Calitz and Pelizzari smiled but appeared exhausted, AP said.

"We are very happy to get our freedom again," Calitz said.

"We are so happy today and to join our families again."

Somalia's defence minister Hussein Arab Isse credited Somali security forces with helping secure the couple's release.

Isse said the couple were freed in a raid in a joint operation conducted by Somali security forces and the army. Sources said the operation took place in the lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia.

  • jackson.harrison.752 - 2012-06-21 14:30

    Great News, now please tell me how the italian government could intervene and assist the release but our own government could not give a damn, if there was a rand or two to be pocketed then only would one of our ministers gotten up off his fat lazy stinking backside and done something..

      Irene - 2012-06-21 14:38

      Alicia ~ Where was god when they were captured? Why did she suddenly appear now?

      foxiloxi - 2012-06-21 14:45

      I sincerely wish the white whingers would get off their high horses and stop complaining, the government cannot pay ransom as it would encourage other kidnappings, secondly it has absolutely nothing to do with the race of people!!! Stop whining for once!!!!

      Bardy - 2012-06-21 14:50

      @ foxiloxi - Why does it take other countries militaries to free our citizens? Thats my point! They were willing to help that drug mule the other day but when the whites get into trouble (which was not even there fault), the government folds their arms! Pathetic racists!

      faizieishlah.shabalala - 2012-06-21 14:54

      Can I have my donation back now, seeing as no ransom was paid

      matthew.swanepoel.9 - 2012-06-21 15:09

      It is NOT the goverment policy to pay ransoms!1 This headline is just sensationalistic Media trying to get a response from readers. Nothing to with race! Come on people.

      Sanda - 2012-06-21 16:27

      Anyway Gov has too much to focus on instead of these idiots who went sailing in Tanzania knowing very well there are Somali pirates there.

      Azande - 2012-06-21 16:48

      @jackson, u cant help your obsession about ANC. @Irene, the devil orchestrated the hostage and God intervened. Couple is safe, praise God's name.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:02

      @Azande so God is Italian and Somalian , not an Israelite ? Funny that.... Put credit where it is due , god create the devil anyway and knows all ,apparently... Tell me what happens to raped virgins in the Buy Bull ? Damn the man.

      Azande - 2012-06-21 17:05

      @jody, God is God. All the evil deeds committed by people are influenced by the devil. God intervenes in His time and when He feels its worth to.

      Irene - 2012-06-21 17:38

      Azande who says god is a 'he' and not a 'she'?

      Azande - 2012-06-21 17:58

      @Irene, its the bible hence we refer to Him as "Father" not "Mommy"

      Irene - 2012-06-21 18:28

      Azanda ~ Oh shame and you believe that fairytale?

      Kenny - 2012-06-22 08:41

      @Irene - I think it is rather sloppy of you disrespecting other peoples religion and believes. Just rather not comment on these things because you are no better than the other. We are all human beings!

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:06

      Foxiloxi, wait till it is you who need help and the government isn't there to help you. You may even miss the white whingers who wouldn't care about you either.

  • Klippies - 2012-06-21 14:31

    Finally! Wow, it's been such a long time. I'm extremely happy for them and happy for the family to be re-united.

  • hugh.olphart - 2012-06-21 14:32

    Welcome home. Your family worked hard to get you back.

  • Matthew.and.Denise - 2012-06-21 14:33

    The South African government did zero to help yet will claim it is all thanks to them that the couple were released!

      Irene - 2012-06-21 14:39

      So typical of cANCer.

      customdesign - 2012-06-21 15:06

      Paying a ransom perpetuates kidnapping. I'm sure the government did all it could under the circumstances.

      Azande - 2012-06-21 16:50

      @Matthew, the governemnt facilitated negotiations assisted by Somali governemnt. What is your meaning f "doing zero"?

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:03

      @Azande are you being serious , how long where they captured for and who freed them ? South Africa is not on that list ... Idjit

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:07

      Holdanigone yes, they did all they could. Like organize a braai!!!!

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-06-21 14:33

    No Ransom because they said they were from South Africa....Italy paid nothing!!!Its a bonus to be associated with South Africa!!

      Irene - 2012-06-21 14:38

      Deluded fool.

      rocky.bell.927 - 2012-06-21 14:59

      tumisang....after two years?? Lies will bring you now where. Don't lie on behalf of the incompetant useless anc.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:09

      Tumisang what! one of the kidnappers your uncle thus you have first hand information?, Go fly a kite.

  • Matthew.and.Denise - 2012-06-21 14:38

    The South African government did zero to help yet will claim it is all thanks to them that the couple were released!

  • Jaco - 2012-06-21 14:39

    why did we (sa government) help the drug smuggler but not these guys?

      Fhedzani Sadiki - 2012-06-21 14:44

      How did we help the drug smuggler?

      Jaco - 2012-06-21 15:04

      Well an attempt was made at least – some support: What was done for these people?

      rocky.bell.927 - 2012-06-21 15:06

      Fhedzani: Extract from Buanews: Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System Date: 18 Jun 2012 Title: SA to give support to convicted drug mule -------------------- Pretoria - Convicted South African drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda will receive support from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) - this after she was sentenced to a 15-year jail term. Try Google - a lot can be learned from services provided.

      Azande - 2012-06-21 16:51

      @Jaco, SA faicilitated negotiations assisted by Somali government.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:05

      @Azande wow they "faicilitated negotiations assisted" Where does it say they actually helped , besides talking , which is free ! Damn the man.

      belinda.west.543 - 2012-06-21 23:36

      What The SA Govt says it'll do and what it actually does are two different things (eg dirco & consular services) As with everything ANC they go to great lengths to pull the wool over everyone's eyes but ultimately do nuuuuuthing, except shift blame.

  • foxiloxi - 2012-06-21 14:42

    Hopefully all the money raised for the ransom can help these guys start a new life!!

      martin.britchford.5 - 2012-06-21 15:53

      id offer to return the money, good folks will refuse it being returned but it would be a genuine thing to do.

      Kenny - 2012-06-22 08:46

      @Sanda - I HOPE A BUS HITS YOU!!!!

  • Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-06-21 14:42

    They would have only paid if they where black...why lose voters

      Pixie86 - 2012-06-21 15:15

      oh cassandra, you're a hopeless. Just can't chuck the racist in you. This is not a race issue. Grow up. Gees.

      Dipuo.nekota - 2012-06-21 15:19

      wt das dt min dis is nthn to do with race so please dose days r long gone so lets move on stop poiting fingers

  • Pagel - 2012-06-21 14:44

    I hope you guys get a book deal or something to make up for suffering and lost time.

  • Dipuo.nekota - 2012-06-21 14:56

    blah blah blah wud ppl jst stop whining bout de race thing who cares bout who did wht jst thank the Lord dey safe nd bek home i bet they both the said the words" thank you Jesus"

      Roslyn Rose - 2012-06-21 18:49

      I agree with you

      Cuteandbronzed - 2012-06-21 20:17

      Its hard to read comments in ''nd'' ''dat'' ''jst. Why cant you just take the extra time to type the whole word. I mean not everybody speaks SMS language Im sorry but this is annoying

      belinda.west.543 - 2012-06-21 23:42

      you might be blackyoungandangry and i'm whiteoldandfedup. I fully agree with you... PEOPLE PLEASE USE PROPER WRITTEN ENGLISH OR STAY OFF THE PAGE, DAMMIT.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:11

      Blackyoung and angry. Don't ask them to do things impossible for their brains to comprehend.

  • kerrimg - 2012-06-21 15:02

    glad they have been released and not killed. bring them home soon to their families

  • Pixie86 - 2012-06-21 15:13

    yeah, we'd rather waste our money bailing out greece. Granted we don't want another global economic melt down, but dang! 2 billion!!!!

      Azande - 2012-06-21 16:53

      You are misinformed and clueless.

      Pixie86 - 2012-06-21 20:21

      i forgive your cluelessness azande.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:13

      Azande well if you are informed, I'll rather remain misinformed.

  • musamuskid - 2012-06-21 15:16

    Dont buy it!!! rather called it a Bribe...

  • npretorius2 - 2012-06-21 15:20

    @Alicia, God has nothing to do with it... I don't think you read the article. They were rescued by Somali Forces and apparently some Italians had something to do with it.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:08

      Agreed, religious retards praise god for everything , even when doctors work hard to save a child , pathetic. Put credit where it is due , hypocrites .... Damn the man.

  • Pat - 2012-06-21 15:21

    Wonderful news can we now just leave these people to reunite with their families for a about eight weeks.. Thanks to the Italian Government you great!

  • john.ncala - 2012-06-21 15:22

    can we stop pointing fingers and celebrate that our fellow country man are coming back and they are safe.Hayi I give up

      Dipuo.nekota - 2012-06-21 15:25

      yeah tru dat black dis black dt who cares dey safe nd bek home wt morw do ppl wnt kanti

      Irene - 2012-06-21 16:22

      Dipuo ~ Do you understand what you just wrote? I sure can't figure it out.

      Cuteandbronzed - 2012-06-21 20:21

      Dipuo.nekota - Your very irreponsible, Your comments are unreadable. ''dis'' ''dt'' ''dey''''nd''''bek''''wt''' this is a public forum if you want to make an impact, you need to speak and type properly.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:14

      Dipuo, stop for today, your brain can't take it anymore.

  • denise.wilshire - 2012-06-21 15:33

    I celebrate this news but while I look at these pics, I can't help wondering how much longer they would have lived for. They remind me of images of Auschwitz. They starved these innocents. Hang your heads in shame ANC Government. You offered so much support for a drug mule, but nothing apparent for these poor souls. I bet the receiver of revenue will be demanding your back taxes! It is my dearest wish to see a kinder more human regime in power. What a bunch of savage ignorant idiots we have as our leaders. Vote wisely next time South Africa.

      Azande - 2012-06-21 17:01

      Paying ransom encourages more hostages. Do you really want this country to be targeted as "hostage cash cow" putting every SA citizen abroad in danger? Think and stop your subjective view and hatred of the ruling party.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:09

      @Azande and the billions lost to corruption , who's pocket are you in ... damn the man.

      Azande - 2012-06-21 17:33

      @jody, u mixing two disparate issues. Compare apples with apples to get an unambiguous view.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:16

      Denise, one can hardly compare them to skin and bones walking zombies from Auschwitz.

  • thutothegreat - 2012-06-21 15:34

    South Africans, why do we always have to pull out the race card. I am sure most people who commented in here hate Malema because he is a racist, but you are so quick to do the same. Come on, cant we all just get along..

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:17

      Thutothe great. I don't hate anyone. Hate is a fabrication of a dull mind and mine isn't that.

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-06-21 15:38

    "Kgwete told eNews that it was the "policy of the South African government not to pay ransoms" but refused to state whether or not Italy paid a ransom." Of course, can't imagine the South African pirates sharing their spoils with the Somalia pirates.

  • galmzala - 2012-06-21 15:42

    listen you all butt face, drug mule is caught by the police, these guys where captured by the terrorist, so get your air head and think, that is a foreign thing to us we dont have terrorist here that is why Italy can help since they are marphias, nagging people nxa, you have no shame, why you didnt go there and rescue them hhe,

      rocky.bell.927 - 2012-06-21 16:13

      "........we don't have terrorists here......" My friend, there is not enough time and space to list ALL the terrorists in this country. For a start the collective MK (mass killers) comes to mind.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:10

      Armed thugs

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:11

      Copper thieves

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-21 17:12

      cANCer ... Need I say more , the UN still see's ANC as a terrorist organization. Damn the man.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:19

      Galmzala since these people were captured by Somalian pirates it is obvious you don't know what the hell you are talking about. Talk about air head, geeze.

  • wendy.bertuolo - 2012-06-21 15:57

    While I'm very happy that they have finally been released and will be able to see their loved ones, I would like to know what will happen to all the money that was donated towards a ransom? Maybe it would be nice to donate the money to various charities that need the money.

      Irene - 2012-06-21 17:41

      For heaven's sake. They aren't even back in the country yet and you're worrying about the donated money!!!! FFS!

      mimi.visser - 2012-06-22 07:45

      The mission statement of the SOS BRUNO AND DEBBIE TRUST said that if the money was not used to pay the ransom, the money would be donated to a suitable charity. Having said that, we have no indication of whether or not a ransom was paid. All we know is that if one was paid, it was not by the SA government, as is their policy. In any case, I would imagine that after such an ordeal there would be a serious need for counseling and rehabilitation, so why shouldn't some of the money (if there is any money) go to them to help them get healthy and strong and to restart their lives?

      wendy.bertuolo - 2012-06-22 12:39

      Geez Irene, aggressive much? I just wanted to make sure the donated money was used for something good, and I'm pretty sure that if there was no ransom paid that Debbie and Bruno would need some of that money to set up their lives again and get the counselling that they need. But maybe some of that money could also be used to help other charities. Its not like I'm asking to get my money back. @Mimi.visser, thank you for the information I did not know that.

  • thulani.b.kiviet - 2012-06-21 16:04

    Once again, the race card is pulled out. It never gets old does it? Look fact of the matter is that the country has a policy not to pay out ransoms, whether yo black or white, it's the country's policy and that's that. Maybe yes, that policy needs to be relooked. Just stop playing the race card. I mean really, you would think that people that log onto this website have good heads on their shoulders but all this is proving is that some of the people here are just as stupid as the same government they insult everyday

  • allison.steedman - 2012-06-21 16:21

    Reading the comments on theses forums it is quite easy to see why South Africans are one of the worlds 10 unhappiest countries. Instead of celebrating the release of these poor people, there is finger pointing, blame, racism, requests for refunds etc. all that is required is a "great news, so happy for them" but no. Whine, whine, blame the ANC blah blah blah. Get over it folks - you are either part of the problem or part of the solution and as far as I can see most of the people on here are a part of the problem by constantly whining and pointing fingers. What are you doing about the ANC? What are you doing about e tolling? Have you contributed money for the legal case or are you sitting back waiting for someone else to step up to the plate

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:22

      Smarterthanyou and what are you doing other than blow off stream?.

  • Lennon Chenga - 2012-06-21 16:39

    I don't think this was a race issue at all, South Africa not supporting the payment of ransom in my opinion safeguards her citizens from future kidnappings as the terrorists will know that they will probably not get what they want. The poor couple was used as an example for future kidnappings, in my opinion at their expense but for the good of future kidnappings. The government wanting to protect this stance probably then engaged Italy to negotiate on their behalf and obviously something was paid but it had to be done in such a way that they don't look like they backtracked. That's my opinion.

  • Azande - 2012-06-21 16:46

    Great story and a very happy ending. I hope the morons will stop pulling racial card into this story. The couple is safe and SA never paid ransom, period.

  • konanani.rachicoper - 2012-06-21 17:37

    Race country.

  • ndumisomsuthu - 2012-06-21 22:01

    nongcebo uma kuwukuthi baqola i South Africa kuyothiwani , uma uHulumeni engenelela ngokuxhasa ngezimali. lokhu kuyobanga ukuthi kugcine sekweziwa nangabantu bakhona la umake kwangenelele uHulumeni. 4rm Ndumiso mngomezulu eHluhluwe kodwa ngiseDumbe ngokusebenza

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-06-22 17:04

    The Italian government took care of it. Bless the Italians. Pelizzari is an Italian?, That would explain it, the Italian government never turn it's back on one of it's citizens. Now wouldn't that be nice if we could say the same of our governemnt?.

  • edward.herbst - 2012-06-26 14:02

    Italy paid . no question about it ....

  • leslie.rabie - 2012-06-28 13:37

    policy of the South African government not to pay ransoms" - we rather waste it on Zuma and his troop of wifes!

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