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Korkie negotiator: Govt. trip ill-advised

Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim travelled to Yemen earlier this month to plead for Pierre Korkie's freedom.

Anaz al-Hamati is a member of the Gift of the Givers Foundation. Picture: Belinda Moses/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gift of the Givers negotiator who was trying to help free Bloemfontein teacher Pierre Korkie from al-Qaeda in Yemen has told Eyewitness News he believes the South African government's decision to send a delegation was ill-advised.

Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim travelled to the country earlier this month to plead for the safe return of Korkie who was kidnapped along with his wife Yolande last May.

She was released this month but the group is demanding a R30 million ransom to set her husband free.

Anas al-Hamati was the only person speaking to al-Qaeda directly and spent weeks negotiating with the terrorist group for Korkie's freedom.

Al-Hamati says Ebrahim trip was not the best decision.

"When I heard he was coming I contacted Imtiaz Sooliman and told him to tell the government to stop his trip because that would be a big mistake."

Furthermore, al-Hamati told Eyewitness News he fears for his life.

All pictures by Belinda Moses/EWN.

Al-Hamati is now in Dubai and says all negotiations with the al-Qaeda militants in Lebanon have stopped.

The negotiator says he doesn't regret his involvement in the matter.

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