'The world can learn something from the Korkies'

Imtiaz Sooliman says if someone can forgive after so much pain, human beings should learn to work together.

FILE: The Korkie family. Picture: Gift of the Givers.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gift of the Givers says the death of South African school teacher Pierre Korkie, and the manner in which his wife Yolande has reacted, should inspire people with differences to work together to the benefit of the country.

The organisation's founder Imtiaz Sooliman yesterday attended a memorial service held in honour of Korkie in Bloemfontein.

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

He 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.

Yolande has said she has forgiven her captors and the people who killed her husband.

Sooliman says the whole world can learn something from the Korkies.

"I think it's a message for the whole world that the friction, violence and confrontation must stop. If someone can forgive after so much pain, surely we as human beings across culture, race and religion, can learn to work together."

Yolande is also writing a tell-all book said to reveal the conditions under which they were kept and negotiations that lead to her release.

The Free State government says innovative solutions to extremism need to be found to prevent similar deaths in future.