Yolande survived captivity through Korkie

2014-12-09 14:20
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: 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 - It was through Pierre Korkie that his wife Yolande survived captivity in Yemen and returned home to her children.

"If it was not for him, I would never have made it through captivity," she told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday, shortly after Korkie's remains arrived in the country.

"We will never have him physically again but in our hearts he will never die."

Yolande spoke as both her teenage children Pieter-Ben and Lize-Mari sat beside her.

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. The Gift of the Givers helped negotiate her release.

The kidnappers demanded a about R32.5m ransom 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.

Her husband and American photographer Luke Somers were killed during an attempt by US special forces to free them from their captors in Yemen in the early hours of Saturday. Korkie died a day before he was due to be released following a negotiated deal.

Yolande said while her husband remained in captivity there was a unified voice of prayer in South Africa and around the world for his release.

"There are so many angels I came to greet in this journey," she told reporters.

"The support has been phenomenal."

She questioned "why the voice of prayer was not answered in the way we wanted it answered".

She thanked all those who helped in negotiations for his release, and spoke of the lives he touched.

"He left footprints in the hearts of many boys in South Africa," she said referring to his time as a teacher at Grey College in Bloemfontein.

Yolande said she trusted in God and wanted to forgive his killers.

"What will it help to accuse? Will it bring Pierre back? Never. We choose to let it go."

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  gift of the givers  |  yolande korkie  |  pierre korkie  |  johannesburg  |  abductions

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