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Yolande Korkie to stop giving interviews

Africa

Johannesburg - The wife of a man being held by al-Qaeda in Yemen will not be giving further media interviews, the family said on Tuesday.

“Based on medical advice, it was decided that she (Yolande Korkie) will not make herself available to either attend any further media briefings or conduct interviews,” they said in a statement.

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Yolande, former hostage and wife of Pierre Korkie who is still being held in Yemen, speaks during a news conference in Johannesburg, Thursday, 16 January 2014. The couple, who have been married for 20 years, was abducted in the city of Taiz, in Yemen, in May. Pierre had been teaching in Yemen while Yolande worked in hospitals helping with relief work. Kidnappers demanded payment of US3 million (about R32.5m) to secure Korkie's release. Picture: SAPA stringer

“She requires time to recuperate from her ordeal and spend time with her children.”

Press statements would be released to the media twice a week, and when there are new developments in the case.

The latest update from Monday at 4pm was that “Gift of the Givers continues to engage the kidnappers to negotiate the safe release of Pierre Korkie”, according to the statement.

The al-Qaeda militants holding Pierre Korkie had threatened to execute him on Friday if they were not given US$3 million (about R32.5m) in exchange for his safe return.

After an initial silence, the kidnappers made contact, indicating that Korkie was still alive on Saturday.

A three-week extension was also given to raise the ransom.

The couple was kidnapped in the city of Taiz in Yemen in May.

Yolande Korkie was held for seven months and after extensive negotiations she was released in January without a ransom. She returned to the country last week.

At a news conference in Johannesburg last week, Yolande begged al-Qaeda to release her husband.

The couple have been married for 20 years.

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

South Africa's Deputy Minister of International Relations Ebrahim Ebrahim arrived in Yemen on Sunday morning.

Departmental spokesman Nelson Kgwete said Ebrahim would discuss Korkie's kidnapping with the Yemeni government and interested parties.

The department said it would not be involved in the ransom talks. - Sapa

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