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Gift of the Givers hopeful for return of Steven McGowan

Steven McGowan was taken hostage in 2011, allegedly by the terrorist group in Mali.

A screengrab of South African Stephen McGowan and Swede Johan Gustofsson (back) in a video released in June 2015.

JOHANNESBURG - Gift of the Givers says it does not believe al-Qaeda has any reason to kill South African captive Steven McGowan, as it has no political interests.

McGowan was taken hostage in 2011, allegedly by the terrorist group in Mali.
Gift of the Givers has been negotiating for the safe return of McGowan since last June with no success.

The organisation’s chairman Imtiaaz Suliman says there is reason to remain hopeful for his safe return.

“There’s no money to negotiate because no government is going to pay. Despite this, for 17 months, we’ve had nothing to offer and al-Qaeda never turned us down with talks. This to us is every positive 17 months later.”

According to Suliman, al-Qaeda has been demanding millions of rand in exchange for McGowan, but the organisation cannot afford it.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)