Kidnapped couple in Somalia: ‘Situation unchanged’

The brother of Deborah Calitz, the woman taken hostage by Somali pirates last year, said on Tuesday there was still no information regarding her whereabouts.

“The situation stays unchanged, we are still waiting for information,” Dale van der Merwe told the South African Press Association.

“The government task team is busy investigating and doing whatever they can.”

He said the family had not employed private investigators as it was very expensive and they did not have the money.

However, they were hopeful and said they were positive they would receive information that Calitz would be released.

Escaped skipper to testify
Calitz, her partner Bruno Pelizzari, and skipper Peter Eldridge were sailing from Dar es Salaam to spend Christmas with friends and family in South Africa, when they were confronted by pirates off the Tanzanian coast on October 26.

Eldridge was able to escape after refusing to leave the yacht, but the pirates forced Pelizzari and Calitz off the vessel.

According to reports on Monday, Eldridge was flying to the Netherlands to testify after the arrest of five men believed to be linked to the hijacking.

“All I have been told is that five men, believed to be connected to the hijacking, were detained and will presumably stand trial. I have to fly out to Holland on Monday to testify. But I have heard no news of Bruno and Debbie,” he told Independent Online. — Sapa

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