Pierre Korkie Killed in Attempted Hostage Release

In response to queries from the media and public requesting verification on reports emanating from social media that Pierre Korkie has passed on in Yemen, the answer is YES. Those wanting to know if this is a rumour or speculation, it is not.

We received with sadness the news that Pierre was killed in an attempt by American Special Forces, in the early hours of this morning, to free hostages in Yemen. It was not appropriate for us to make the announcement but now respond to the queries through this statement.

Our heartfelt condolences to Yolande and her family in this hour of great difficulty.

Pierre and Yolande were taken hostage in Taiz, Yemen, in May 2013. It's eleven months since Yolande has had no contact with Pierre since being freed by Anas Al Hamati from Gift of the Givers on 10 January 2014. The Korkie children have not heard from their father in 18 months.

The psychological and emotional devastation to Yolande and her family will be compounded by the knowledge that Pierre was to be released by Al Qaeda tomorrow. A team of Abyan leaders met in Aden this morning and were preparing the final security and logistical arrangements, related to hostage release mechanisms, to bring Pierre to safety and freedom. It is even more tragic that the words we used in a conversation with Yolande at 5.59 this morning was "the wait is almost over". Three days ago we told her "Pierre will be home for Christmas". We certainly did not mean it in the manner it has unfolded. All logistical arrangements were in place to safely fly Pierre out of Yemen under diplomatic cover, then to meet with family members in a "safe" country, fly to South Africa, and directly to hospital for total medical evaluation and appropriate intervention.

Please text your details if you cannot get through to me.

Hostage Released is NOT Pierre

We have received confirmation from credible sources that the hostage freed is not Pierre but an American citizen who is now already in the US Embassy.  There were three US hostages in Al Qaeda captivity; an oil company manager, a journalist and an American serviceman.  At this stage we don't know which of the three has been released.

Our efforts to release Pierre continue.  It has

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Abyan Tribal Leaders Meet Al Qaeda

Here is an update:

26 January 2014 Gift of the Givers lose all communication with Al Qaeda.

8 February 2014 Second deadline to meet the ransom demand to free Pierre Korkie expires.

15 February 2014
Anas's tribal leaders contact tribal leaders in Abyan which is a known Al Qaeda stronghold. These leaders are requested to try and "find" Al Qaeda. They report back a few hours later having managed to

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No New Updates on Korkie Case

We know you are as anxious as all of us on Pierre Korkie's condition and his whereabouts.  It's 5 days post deadline and 17 days since we lost all communication with Al Qaeeda.  Unfortunately, we have nothing new to report.  We've gone door-door to several media outlets internationally and submitted both Anas's interview that we had prepared in Arabic and Yolande's final appeal

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Hostages Freed in Yemen

We have been inundated by calls from the media after eight hostages were freed from Al Qaeda captivity in the early hours in Yemen today.  Apparently, one of the hostages is a foreign national but the identity has not been announced.

We are aware of this development and are busy with our own investigations in Yemen to get clarification and further information as to whether Pierre Korkie may be

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Pierre Korkie - One Year in Captivity

Apologies for the delay in this press release.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014, marks the one year anniversary that Pierre and Yolande Korkie were captured in Taiz Province in Yemen. They had arranged their exit visa and were preparing to return to South Africa to complete the funeral rites of Pierre's late father who had passed on a week earlier on 20 May 2013.  It was in that period of difficulty when

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Clarification of Information

We have been asked repeatedly to comment on the report sent out by AFP in response to a tribal mediator involved in Yolande's release and the comments by a pro-government military leader that Pierre is still alive.  AFP was kind enough to send us their broadcast and we accept that their reporting is in good faith so we don't have any issue there.

These are the facts:

1. Anas al-Hamati, our

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Korkie Update Post Deadline

You've asked for feedback from the kidnappers regarding Pierre Korkie. We haven't received any information thus far. It is now thirteen days that we've had no communication from them but in the meantime here are some points to consider: My greatest concern is Pierre's health. Has he survived his condition or has he passed on because of complications? If he passed on because of medical reasons is

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