No news on Korkie

FILE PICTURE: Former hostage in Yemen, Yolande Korkie makes a plea to Al Qaeda to release her husband, Pierre during a press conference held at the logistics center of the Gift of the Givers in Bramley. Pierre has since been killed. Picture: Neil McCartney

There was no word from the Yemeni kidnappers of South African Pierre Korkie, the Gift of the Givers said on Thursday.

“It’s five days post deadline and 17 days since we lost all communication with Al-Qaeda,” foundation head Imtiaz Sooliman said in a statement.

Al-Qaeda militants kidnapped Korkie and his wife Yolande in Taiz, Yemen, in May. She was released and returned to South Africa on January 13.

The Gift of the Givers Foundation helped negotiate Yolande Korkie’s release.

Sooliman said his organisation had submitted videos from Yolande and their office manager in Yemen, Anas al-Hamati, to international media outlets. Al-Hamati was involved in talks with the kidnappers to try and free Pierre Korkie.

“To date, we’ve had no response from anywhere in the world. However, that does not deter us, nor do we give up hope.”

Sooliman said the foundation again circulated the video footage internationally on Wednesday night and would continue until all avenues were exhausted.

“From a human, practical point of view, we have now run out of ideas so all we do is wait patiently for a call that will reconnect us to Al-Qaeda to commence communication and negotiations once again,” he said.

News agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Saturday that a mediator made contact with Korkie’s kidnappers. AFP reported the unnamed mediator as saying Korkie was still alive.

Sooliman said his foundation had not had any contact with this individual.


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