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Pierre Korkie: Ransom deadline looms

Negotiators have until Saturday to hand over R30 million to al-Qaeda or Pierre Korkie will be executed.

Pierre Korkie is being held hostage by al-Qaeda militants in the Yemeni city of Taiz. Main picture: AFP. Inset picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - With the ransom deadline for Pierre Korkie looming in Yemen, the Gift of the Givers Foundation says it is not clear if the South African teacher is still alive.

Korkie and his wife Yolande were taken hostage by al-Qaeda militants in May 2013 and she has since been released.

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

Negotiators say they are extremely concerned about Korkie's health and say there has been no recent communication from kidnappers on the matter .

It is believed his health has deteriorated in recent months.

The Gift of the Givers negotiator left Yemen more than a week ago, fearing for his life.

Anaz al-Hamati is a member of the Gift of the Givers Foundation and was the main negotiator in Bloemfontein teacher Pierre Korkie's release in Yemen. Picture: Belinda Moses/EWN

The foundation says al-Qaeda militants in Yemen kidnapped a German citizen in the capital Sana at the weekend, and also killed 20 Yemeni soldiers.

It is waiting for word from the group so it can try and convince kidnappers to release Korkie unharmed.