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48-hour Korkie deadline expires today

Johannesburg - The 48-hour mark for progress in securing the release of a South African man kidnapped in Yemen expires on Wednesday afternoon, the Gift of the Givers foundation said.

“We still don't have anything substantial to report,” foundation head Imtiaz Sooliman said in a statement.

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

“We are dependent on third parties and even though things are very slow we are more optimistic then we've been since 26 January 2014.”

At an appropriate time the foundation would give a full explanation of what steps it had taken since February to try to have Pierre Korkie released, Sooliman said.

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

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

Communications with al-Qaeda shut down on January 26, Sooliman said.

The foundation's office manager in Yemen Anas al-Hamati, who was involved in talks with the kidnappers to try and free Korkie, and his family left Yemen in late January after negotiations soured.

Korkie's kidnappers demanded about R32.5m ransom for his release by February 8.

News agency AFP reported last Saturday that a mediator made contact with Korkie's kidnappers. The unnamed mediator reportedly said Korkie was still alive. - Sapa

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