New video emerges of South African held hostage in Mali

2015-12-02 07:55
Stephen McGown (Gift of the Givers, YouTube)

Stephen McGown (Gift of the Givers, YouTube)

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SA man held hostage by al-Qaeda pleads 'help me'

2015-06-23 14:32

After much silence, a video has emerged of South African hostage Steve McGowan, who was kidnapped in 2011 from a hotel in Timbuktu, Mali.WATCH

Johannesburg - The Gift of the Givers has described a new video of two hostages being held in Mali, including South African Stephen McGown, as "absolutely credible and realistic".

"Our Mali negotiator, Mohamed Yehia Dicko, arrived in Bamako on Wednesday, 25 November, 2015, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the hostages being taken captive," the organisation said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

"It was a week of tense waiting and patience. We received three to four calls a day through the intermediary apologising and confirming that a video will be available soon. It finally happened at 13:00 on 1 December 2015, where we received two videos, one for each hostage. 

"The video is self explanatory. Date of production is mentioned as 20 October. Given our interactions over the last few weeks and the content of the video that date is absolutely credible and realistic. 

"The most heartening aspect of the video is the fact that the captives are now aware that negotiations are underway for their release which would certainly instil a great deal of hope and positivity in them."

McGown and Swedish national Johan Gustafsson have been held by Al-Qaeda in Mali for years after being abducted in November 2011.

"The road is still long but we will make progress," the Gift of the Givers said.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  gift of the givers  |  imtiaz sooliman  |  mali  |  west africa

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