Korkie hostage situation 'delicate'

Korkie’s family says while his wife remains hopeful he’ll return to SA, the situation is delicate.

Yolandé Korkie and her children released a video pleading for the release of her husband Pierre Korkie who is being held hostage by Al-Qaeda militants. Picture: Volksblad.

JOHANNESBURG - Bloemfontein teacher Pierre Korkie's family says although his wife Yolandé and their children remain hopeful his al-Qaeda kidnappers will release him, the situation is still very delicate.

Korkie and his wife were taken hostage in May 2013 but Yolandé was released last month.

The family and negotiators had until Saturday to pay a more than R30 million ransom or the kidnappers had threatened to execute Pierre.

The ransom was not paid but there is still no word from al-Qaeda about whether Korkie has been executed.

But with the deadline passed, the family and relief organisation Gift of the Givers are not giving up hope.

They believe the South African teacher is still alive.

Several apparent mediators have since approached the negotiators but Gift of the Givers says there is no proof they are authentic.

Korkie's family and negotiators are now waiting for the kidnappers to make contact with them and for Yolandé's video message to reach the group.

In the video, Yolandé and her two children beg al-Qaeda to release him as he is ill and they do not have money to pay for his freedom.


Meanwhile, Pierre's family and negotiators have asked South Africans not to stop praying for him to be released.

People joined hands in prayer for Korkie at a multi-faith prayer service at the Christ Church Mayfair on Friday evening.

A picture of Pierre Korkie pinned to a notice board at the Christ Church Mayfair in Johannesburg during an inter-faith prayer service. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.