Negotiations continue for Pierre Korkie

Korkie and his wife were kidnapped while teaching in Yemen in May 2013.

Pierre Korkie has been held hostage by a group of men believed to be linked to al-Qaeda since May 2013. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Negotiators working on the release of Bloemfontein teacher Pierre Korkie are expected to try and convince his Yemeni kidnappers today to release him or lower the ransom they're demanding.

Pierre and his wife Yolande were kidnapped while teaching in Yemen in May last year by a group believed to be linked to al-Qaeda.

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

A representative of the relief organisation Gift of the Givers is expected to ask the men to extend the deadline and reduce the amount of ransom they are demanding.

Yolande was released on Friday after tense negotiations.

The South African government's foreign policy forbids it from negotiating ransom money for the release of those kidnapped in other countries.

Sooliman says they have been conducting relief operations in Yemen, which helped them to convince the men to release Yolande without any money exchanging hands.

However, the group ar still demanding a R30 million ransom for her husband.

Sooliman says the main aim will be to convince the kidnappers that the ransom sum is unrealistic.

"They made a mistake and took the wrong people and now innocent people are paying the price."

Yolande is reportedly distraught and desperate to raise the money for the ransom.

She has been separated from her husband for three weeks.

However, Pierre has now been informed that she is safely on her way home.