Korkie’s wife in new video appeal

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IOL pic feb10 pierre korkie file

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South African Pierre Korkie was kidnapped in Taiz, Yemen, on May 27 last year.

Johannesburg - The wife of kidnapped South African Pierre Korkie released a video on Wednesday appealing to Al-Qaeda for her husband's release.

“With the coming month of Ramadan, the month of mercy and forgiveness, we ask you to please release him unconditionally, as you released me,” Yolande Korkie said.

The Korkies were kidnapped by the militants in Taiz, Yemen, in May last year. Yolande was released on January 10 and returned to South Africa on January 13. The Gift of the Givers helped negotiate her release.

“My children and I long desperately for him, please release him, we will be so grateful. Pierre has not harmed anybody. He's an innocent man and a respected teacher,” she said.

In the video Yolande said her husband was “gravely ill” and could die.

“I am reminded of the words of (former president) Nelson Mandela who said a task looks impossible until it is done. We will not give up until Pierre is released,” she said.

Korkie was kidnapped on May 27 last year. At the time he was a teacher in Yemen, while his wife did relief work in hospitals.

The kidnappers demanded a US$3 million (about R32.5m) ransom.

The Gift of the Givers tried to make contact with Al-Qaeda through international media and circulated an interview with their office manager in Yemen, Anas al-Hamati. Al-Hamati was forced to leave Yemen at the end of January for his own safety after Al-Qaeda accused him of stealing the ransom money.

Tribal leaders in Yemen then took over the talks with Al-Qaeda.

On February 25, tribal leaders learned that Korkie was still alive, but in bad health. Since then, no more information was available on his condition. - Sapa


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