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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Yolande Korkie's Video Appeal

As per our earlier broadcast please find the link to the video where Yolande Korkie makes a final appeal to Al Qaeeda to release Pierre Korkie. Acknowledgement to Christal-Lize Thomas at Volksblad in Bloemfontein who arranged for the filming and unconditional distribution to all media houses in the interest of saving Pierre's life.  

Through the efforts of Belinda Moses, an ex-SA journalist in

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Interview with Anas Al- Hamati

Many of you are requesting interviews with Anas al-Hamati. You may call him on +967735880808. But please ask the questions SLOWLY using simple English as his home language is Arabic.

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Al Qaeeda Contacts Gift of the Givers Again

We received a text message from Al Qaeeda about 2 hours ago asking where is the ransom money from the SA Govt. According to their understanding, they quote Yemeni media, the SA Govt was coming to negotiate with them but note that no one approached them .We replied that the SA Govt, as well as all other governments, don't negotiate with kidnappers and don't pay ransom. They replied that governments

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Report on the Pierre Korkie Hostage Situation

We are as anxious as you awaiting some kind of communication from the captors but for now there has been a complete blackout on information. In fact from Wednesday, 15 January 2014, there has been a substantial reduction in bilateral communication between us and the captors. On that day we spoke to them for about three minutes only. All previous communication was several hours per day either

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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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Yolande Korkie to Make Final Appeal on Video

We thank you for your huge interest in the Pierre Korkie hostage crisis and your desire for ongoing information. We know you want something more than just "sitting and waiting". We will make a full press release around 4pm with an update on our efforts with middle eastern media, information on a special inter-faith prayer event in Johannesburg tomorrow and will circulate a link of a 1-minute video

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Pierre Korkie: Four Days to Deadline

We are in a very difficult period concerning Pierre Korkie. The deadline is four days away; Anas al-Hamati, our negotiator ,had to flee Yemen hurriedly with his family for their own security; we have no indication of Pierre's state of health and no proof of life at this stage; and to complicate matters further we've lost all communication with Al Qaeeda for eight days now. This has been the

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Talks With Al Qaeeda Strained

We have a MAJOR problem. Talks between us and Al Qaeeda have virtually broken down completely as they don't trust us anymore. They insist that Anas al-Hamati, our office manager in Yemen, has "stolen" the ransom money that the SA Govt brought to give them. It is for that reason that they sent the picture of the bomb belt emphasising that Anas is a legitimate target because he "stole" their money.

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Pierre is ALIVE

Pierre is ALIVE. We have achieved a stay-in-execution for now. We have been granted a 3 week extension. They also volunteered information that Pierre is not in good health. After a break in communication for almost 72 hours we called them last night at 11pm and left a message that we need to meet. They called back and replied in the affirmative. Anas then made the long drive back from the

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Press Conference with Yolande Korkie

You have repeatedly requested an interview with Yolande Korkie who has just returned from Yemen. She is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted given her ordeal with the terrifying prospect of her husband Pierre being executed this Friday as the ransom demands cannot be met. Not to impose on her difficult circumstances and to prevent repetition of the same questions by the media fraternity

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