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SA couple back home

Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz are back home after being held hostage by Somali pirates.

Debbie Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari at the OR Tambo International Airport on 27 June 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African couple kidnapped and held hostage by Somali pirates arrived in the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

There was a media frenzy when the Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz came through the arrival termianl, making it difficult for their relatives to see them.

At the press conference, Calitz broke down in tears, saying she does not know how to thank everyone for their support.

She said they were handcuffed 24 hours a day and they never had the luxury of soap.

Pelizzari said this was their second chance on life, and they have never been so happy to be home.

The family members were wearing t-shirts with the couple's faces on them.

According to Pelizzari's sister, Vera Hecht, the two are very thin and pale after spending 604 days in captivity.

The couple were abducted from a yacht off the East African coast in October 2010.

Their release follows a joint operation between South African, Somali and Italian officials.

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