7 June 2013
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says it is not giving up on efforts to find and secure the release of two South Africans held captive in Yemen.
Amid fresh media reports that the two are being held by al-Qaeda, the department said on Friday that South Africa’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia was still in daily meetings with Yemeni authorities to locate the couple and facilitate their release.
The department said it was in touch with a law enforcement unit in Yemen, and that there had not been information to the effect that the two citizens had been kidnapped by representatives of a certain organisation.
The pair, identified as Pierre and Yolande Korkie, were kidnapped in Yemen’s central province of Taiz two weeks ago by unknown gunmen in front of a hotel in the town of Howban, about 250km south of the capital Sanaa.
They are said to have been involved in the development of the hotel, and were reportedly involved in a dispute between the developers and the landlord shortly before their abduction.
Five people have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping, although the whereabouts of the pair are still unknown.
The department added that it was doing everything it could to provide consular services to the family, whom they kept informed on regular basis.