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'Cooling off' period in Korkie negotiations

Gift of the Givers has entered a 'cooling off' period in negotiations to release Pierre Korkie.

Imtiaz Sooliman (right) says Gift of the Givers has decided to "cool off" with negotiations to release Pierre Korkie. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Relief organisation Gift of the Givers says they have decided to have a 'cooling off' period with negotiations to release South African teacher Pierre Korkie.

Korkie is being held hostage in Yemen by a group affiliated to al-Qaeda.

Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim is expected back in South Africa today after meeting with government officials in Yemen.

Korkie and his wife Yolande were kidnapped and held hostage from May last year, but Yolande was released over a week ago without paying any ransom.

Yolande Korkie with Gift of the Givers' Dr Imtiaz Sooliman during a press conference in Johannesburg on 16 January 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN

The kidnappers are demanding a R32 million ransom in three week's time.

The group have threatened to behead Korkie if the ransom is not paid.

Gift of the Givers' Imtiaz Sooliman says they just want to 'lay low' with negotiations at the moment.

"When we get together, the question will be what about the money? We don't have the money, they will probably give us another deadline by Saturday. We just want to lay low for a few days and let things calm down."

Meanwhile, the Gift of the Givers said on Monday that little was achieved at the meeting between its negotiators and Ebrahim in discussions to release Korkie.