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SA man still held hostage in Yemen

An SA woman was released by kidnappers in Yemen on Friday, but her husband has yet to be released.

Pierre Korkie, who is being held hostage by Yemeni militants. His wife Yolande was released on 10 January 2014. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - A South African teacher who was kidnapped and held hostage for almost nine months in Yemen is now helping to negotiate the release of her husband.

The Bloemfontein couple, Yolande and Pierre Korkie, were teaching in Yemen last year when they were kidnapped in May by a group believed to be linked to al-Qaeda.

Relief organisation Gift of the Givers spent four days in talks with the kidnappers leading to Yolande's release on Friday morning.

The group's Imtiaz Sooliman says the kidnappers initially thought the couple were American, but are still demanding ransom for Pierre.

He says Yolande is now safe at a hotel and is due to fly home to South Africa soon.

"She's very distraught because when she left, they told her, 'your husband - his life is now in your hands'. So you can imagine the burden that's on her now."

Sooliman says they are now preparing to enter intensive negotiations with the kidnappers.

He says Yolande will have to play a role in the dealings, although she is still traumatised and crying non-stop.