Pierre Korkie talks break down

At least eight people, in addition to Korkie, are being held captive in Yemen.

Talks between the Gift of the Givers and Al-qaeda for Pierre Korkie's release have completely broken down. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Talks between the Gift of the Givers and terrorist group al-Qaeda to negotiate the release of South African teacher Pierre Korkie in Yemen have broken down completely.

Pierre and his wife Yolande were taken hostage in May last year by the group but she has since been released.

The relief organisation has been involved in negotiations with the kidnappers who sent a picture of a bomb belt four days ago asking for R30 million for Pierre's release.

Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim visited the country a week ago - which the kidnappers took as a sign that the government would pay the ransom.

But this goes against its foreign policy and South African officials have only pleaded for mercy and asked for Pierre's release.

There are still two weeks to go before the deadline is reached to pay the ransom.

Earlier in the week South African government officials questioned whether Korkie is in fact being held in Yemen by al-Qaeda terrorists or simply money-seeking thugs, with Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim saying Yemen is fertile ground for kidnappers.

At least eight people, in addition to Korkie, are being held captive in that country.