Media Statement

07 December 2014

Death of Mr Korkie in Yemen

The South African Government was deeply saddened to learn yesterday that fellow South African, Mr Pierre Korkie, who was held in captivity in Yemen, since mid-2013, was killed during an operation by American special forces aimed at freeing hostages. An American hostage was also killed during the operation.

The South African Government sends deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr Korkie for their loss. Condolences are also conveyed to the family and loved ones of the deceased American hostage.

Mrs Yolande Korkie who was taken hostage together with her husband was freed in January 2014 after an intervention by the South African Government and the NGO, Gift of the Givers, together with the Yemeni Government and other role-players.

The South African government undertook numerous initiatives through our former Deputy Minister, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, and our Ambassador in Saudi Arabia to help secure Mr Korkie's release. We are therefore saddened that the kidnapping ended in the tragic death of Mr Korkie, a man innocent of any crime.

Accordingly, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane would like to express the South African Government's firm and unconditional condemnation of all forms of terrorism that invariably result in the senseless suffering and loss of innocent lives.

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane also had a telephonic discussion with her Yemeni counterpart today about the death of Mr Korkie. The Yemeni Minister expressed the Yemeni Government and people's condolences to the government and the people of South Africa following the tragedy.

Mr Korkie's body is expected to arrive in South Africa on Monday, 08 December 2014.

Enquiries: Nelson Kgwete, +27764313078

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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