Jean-Jacques Cornish

South Africa has other hostages abroad

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.




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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.