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12 Jan 2014 12:05
Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman says he is due to meet the kidnappers of South African teacher Pierre Korkie. (Reuters)
Negotiations with a group of kidnappers holding a South African teacher for ransom in Yemen are ongoing, Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman said on Sunday.
"We have planned our strategy," he told the South African Press Association.
He said his office manager in Yemen was in constant contact on the phone with the kidnappers holding Pierre Korkie captive. He was also planning on meeting the kidnappers in person on Monday.
Pierre's wife, Yolande, was released this week with the help of the organisation.
She and her husband were captured in the city of Taiz in May last year.
On Friday, the kidnappers asked for $3-million (about R30-million) within eight days for Pierre Korkie's release.
"The first aim is to extend the deadline and the next is to see if we can bring down the amount," said Sooliman.
He said his office manager had a "good rapport" with the kidnappers.
"We are hoping we can convince them we need more time."
Sooliman said South Africa's ambassador to Saudi Arabia landed in Yemen on Sunday morning.
"She's very worried about her husband," said Sooliman.
The Sunday Independent reported that Yolande told them in a telephonic interview that she could not find words to thank Gift of the Givers for their help.
"Our hearts are overflowing. The people of South Africa must know that the passion and the commitment of the Gift of the Givers is unrivalled," she told the newspaper. – Sapa
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