Mali hostage press conference cancelled on doctors' orders

2017-08-04 19:11
Stephen, as he appeared in a video that was recently sent as proof that he’s still alive. PHOTO: Gift of the Givers/YouTube

Stephen, as he appeared in a video that was recently sent as proof that he’s still alive. PHOTO: Gift of the Givers/YouTube

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Gift of the Givers cancelled Stephen McGown's press conference after his doctors advised it was unsafe for him to attend. 

Stephen is finally back home in South Africa, after being held hostage by a terrorist group in Mali for more than five years.

He was taken to a hospital shortly after arriving, where doctors discovered he may have a contagious infection, according to Gift of the Givers' Imtiaz Sooliman.

"He has seen a neurologist and a physician and [they agreed] he can't leave the hospital," he said at the press conference Stephen was meant to attend in Johannesburg.

He was captured by Al Qaeda at a restaurant when visiting Timbuktu in northern Mali.

Shortly before he was set free earlier this week, his captors released a video of Stephen as proof he was still alive - which gave his father Malcolm hope he would see his son again.

“When I saw Stephen’s face for the first time in the video, my heart wanted to break,” Malcolm told YOU in June. “I wanted to weep with joy that my son was still alive. It confirmed to me that he’d be coming home. I’ll get to see him again.”

In the 16-second silent video, Stephen could be seen with five other hostages. He looked thin and subdued and his hair and beard are long, Malcolm said.

“I know and trust he’ll soon be set free. It’s just a matter of time.” 

Depending on Stephen's health, the next press conference is set to be held on Friday 11 August.

Read more on:    stephen mcgown
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