Yemen: Kidnapped couple are South African

The SA ambassador to Saudi Arabia is heading to Yemen to secure the release of the couple.

South Africa's ambassador to Saudi Arabia will travel to Ta'izz, Yemen, where two South Africans are being held hostage. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The International Relations Department will be sending a delegation, led by the country's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to Yemen on Wednesday to secure the release of a South African couple who were abducted on Monday.

The man and woman, whose names have not yet been released, are believed to have been involved in the development of the hotel from which they were abducted in the central city of Ta'izz.

It's understood there was a dispute between developers and the landlord shortly before the pair were kidnapped.

The department's Nelson Kgwete says government is looking at how the couple can be freed quickly.

"The South African ambassador to Saudi Arabia is travelling to Yemen to meet with authorities to discuss ways to resolve the matter quickly."

Meanwhile, Monique Strydom, who was kidnapped with her husband Callie in the Philippines, says captors will keep hostages alive if they want to negotiate with authorities.

The Strydoms were kidnapped by rebels while on holiday in Malaysia 13 years ago.

The couple was held captive on a southern Philippines island for four months with 19 other hostages.

Strydom says one has to fight to stay alive.

"It depends on what their motivation is. I think if they want to keep you alive to negotiate with you obviously they will give you the basics. We got very little food and water but they had to keep us alive so they had to give that to us."

Strydom says the fear of not knowing what will happen next can be debilitating.

"You see we were very lucky. I think it was one of the few hostage situations where we eventually could get news from home. We knew that people were doing things to get things done."