Stephen McGowan’s first public appearance postponed

Gift of The Givers says they had been assured by his family that McGowan would make it to a briefing but at the last minute, he was advised against it by his doctor.

FILE: Stephen McGowan who was being held hostage in Mali was released on 2 August 2017. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – NGO Gift of The Givers says Stephen McGowan’s first public appearance has been postponed on doctor's orders.

It was announced on Thursday that McGowan had been released from Mali where he was kidnapped by al-Qaeda six years ago.

Gift of The Givers says they had been assured by his family that McGowan would make it to a briefing on Friday afternoon. But at the last minute, he was advised against it by his doctor.

Gift of The Givers Imtiaz Sooliman says while they can’t give details on his condition, he was advised against doing a briefing.

Sooliman says another briefing will be scheduled for next week.

“On Friday morning, they said he was fine to attend the briefing and now they’ve informed us that several results have come back and they’re not too happy.”

He says McGowan’s wife has advised that he’s still in the hospital.

“When his wife called me she was on her way to the hospital and she said Stephen wanted to meet me. I told her there’s no rush because he’s in the hospital, we can wait.”

Sooliman says it was a sad moment when McGowan was told his mother had died during his absence.