Ebrahim to travel to Yemen for hostage talks

17 January 2014

International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim is scheduled to travel to Yemen for consultations over the release of South African hostage Pierre Korkie, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said in a statement on Friday.

Korkie and his wife Yolande had been in Yemen for four years when they were abducted in the city of Taiz in May.

The Al-Qaeda-linked militants responsible for the kidnapping released Korkie’s wife without ransom on 13 January, but are now demanding the equivalent of R30-million for his release.

At the time of the kidnapping, Korkie was working as a teacher, while his wife did relief work in hospitals.

She was released and returned to South Africa on Monday after South African disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers helped negotiate her release.

The foundation has continued to negotiate with the kidnappers for her husband’s freedom.

Yolande, who spoke to the media in Johannesburg on Thursday, said her husband is in bad health and needs urgent medical attention.

SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.za