Yolande Korkie finds closure through writing

Pierre Korkie’s widow has written ‘558 days’, based on how she and her husband were kidnapped in 2013.

Yolande Korkie talks at the launch of her book '558 Days' at Grey College in Bloemfontein on 22 February 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

BLOEMFONTEIN - Pierre Korkie's widow, Yolande, says although her life will never be the same after the couple's abduction by al-Qaeda in Yemen three years ago, she has now found closure and healing after writing a book about their painful experience.

Korkie has written 558 Days, based on how she and her husband were kidnapped in 2013, until when Pierre was shot dead during a failed rescue attempt by US Navy Seals in December 2014.

Yolande was rescued and reunited with their two children in the beginning of 2014, while the Gift of the Givers organisation still tried to negotiate his release.

She addressed pupils at Grey Collage in Bloemfontein, the same school where her husband Pierre worked for 24 years, reflecting on a long journey for her and her family.

Yolande says it was painful to relive the time as a hostage and to go through Pierre's personal journals in order to write the book.

Pierre wrote letters to his wife and two children, which made their way back to them after he died.

Yolande says for the first time she truly understands the meaning of life and its value.

She adds although she's uncertain about what the future now holds after surviving a hostage drama in Yemen, her focus for now is to live for her children.

In May, it will mark exactly three years since Yolande and Pierre's nightmare started when they were abducted and separated from their children.

Yolande says after surviving 228 days in captivity, she would like to help others in hostage situations.

"I think it's very important that we learn to understand people better. Misconceptions are often there and it prevents us from seeing the bigger picture."

Pierre also reflects on his spiritual journey during captivity and his immense longing to see his family one last time.

Pictures by Reinart Toerien/EWN.