PRETORIA, December 12 (AFP) – South African officials worked tirelessly to secure the release of Pierre Korkie held by Al Qaeda captors in Yemen since May last year and other hostages in other parts of the world, Minister of International Relations and Tuesday.
Asked to for numbers and locations, Nkoana Mashebane said details were being withheld at the request of the families involved.
“We have to continue working with families.If we are to secure their release and families have not given details themselves, it is better that we respect the interaction our consular services have with those families,” she said.
“All I can say to you is that we do not have more than five. It is important that we keep track of these people because some of them have double citizenship.”
Even with those dual nationals, South Africa was working relentlessly get them released, the minister said.
She was careful not to point any blame in the death of Pierre Korkie, who was killed by his captors when US special forces staged an abortive rescue mission for him and US photojournalist Luke Somers.
“We all need to get together and fight terrorism and what comes with it, hostage taking. I think the intentions were good, but the outcome was not what one desired.
“There were intentions to try and get those hostages free, safe and sound it did not work out the way it was planned. South Africa’s tactics might not be the same as our other interlocutors but what remains is that we all are engaged in combating this terrorism wherever it rears its ugly head.”said the minister.