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Johannesburg - Still recovering from laryngitis, the hoarseness evident in his voice, rescued Durban hostage Bruno Pelizzari says the attention from the public and media following his freedom has been overwhelming, and that he and his partner Deborah Calitz, are looking forward to some time alone, in peace, away from the hype.
In an interview with The Mercury on Monday, Pelizzari said that he and Calitz planned to return to Durban later this week. Since being rescued two weeks ago, from pirates who held them for 20 months, he said they had experienced almost two weeks of relative normality.
Now, said Pelizzari, they were also looking forward to being able to do what they wanted to do.
Since being rescued, the couple have had to share their reuniting-with-family time with official meetings or briefings, both in Italy and SA.
The constant media attention and requests for interviews had also taken their toll. “It has all been slightly crazy. It’s overwhelming; it’s just too much,” Pelizzari said.
The couple also plan to go away on a short holiday at some point, to escape the excitement surrounding their rescue. “We are going to do that. We are also looking forward to just being able to do our own thing,” he said.
Pelizzari maintained that he and Calitz were “doing well”, contrary to reports in the media that suggested they would need psychological help.
Pelizzari’s sister Vera Hecht, who was instrumental in the negotiations with pirates and raising money for their ransom, will return to Durban on Tuesday with her mother, who is on holiday in SA from Italy.
Pelizzari and Calitz will return either on Wednesday or on Thursday, and although they are in dire need of some peace and quiet, they may have to wait a little longer, as friends and family are already planning their welcome-home parties.
On the SOS Bruno and Debbie Facebook page, created to help raise ransom money for their release, fans have been talking for days about how they plan to welcome them home at King Shaka International Airport.
Asked whether he had seen the Facebook page, which has more than 10 000 fans, Pelizzari replied that he had, and was aware of the celebrations awaiting them. “We are waiting for it, and we are prepared,” he said. - The Mercury