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Yolande Korkie: 'I owe my life to my husband'

Yolande said she would never have survived being held hostage without his love and support.

Pieter-Ben, Yolande and Lize-Marie Korkie address the press after Pierre Korkie's body arrived in South Africa on 9 December 2014. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

PRETORIA - International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says she won't assign any blame in the death of Pierre Korkie.

Korkie was held captive for nearly two years and died near central Yemen during a botched attempt to rescue US hostage Luke Somers.

She answered questions in Pretoria today just hours after Korkie's body was flown home to South Africa.

Nkoana-Mashabane said the international community must join hands to fight terrorism.

She believes the intentions of US Special Forces to rescue Korkie and Somers in Yemen were good, but the desired outcome was not achieved.

"There were intentions to free the hostages and get them home safe but it didn't work out the way it was planned.

Meanwhile, Korkie's widow Yolande, said owes her life to her husband because she would never have survived being held hostage by terrorists without his love and support.

Video: 'My husband's death was God's will.

"He'll never die in our hearts and he was an amazing father. If it was not for him, I would have not made my time in captivity."

Yolande said the Bloemfontein teacher had already gone completely deaf when she left him in Yemen and said details of the ordeal will be revealed in a tell-all book.

She said she is in deep mourning because she and her children never had the chance to say goodbye.

"The last memory I have of Pierre was us holding each other and he could not hear at that stage and he said 'I love you and tell the children I love them'."

Yolande said despite retiring before leaving for Yemen, her husband Pierre was moved to help the poor as soon as they arrived there.

"The first time we set foot in that country the immense poverty consumed us."

She said because of this she does not regret visiting the country but does feel relieved that her family now has closure.

"It's something to be grateful for despite the pain, it's a special gift to have his remains because it could have gone another way."

The widow said one of the most difficult questions she has now is why God did not answer her prayers in the way they wanted.

Korkie spent nearly two years in captivity after he was taken from the streets of Yemen with his wife by al-Qaeda militants who were after ransom money.

Yolande was released in January this year and was instructed by her captors to bring R30 million ransom money for her husband's release.

Korkie's body was sent for a post-mortem at a government mortuary in Pretoria after arriving at the Waterkloof Air Force Base this morning.

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