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South African hostage nears freedom in Mali – raising hope for release



Gerco van Deventer may soon be freed

Gerco van Deventer may soon be freed. According to a negotiator involved in the case, his captors are considering a final decision on his unconditional release.

Mohamed Yehia Dicko, the negotiator, is currently in Mali, where Van Deventer has been held hostage since November 2017. Gift of the Givers, the organisation leading the negotiations, has been working through intermediaries connected to Al-Qaeda in Mali to advocate for Van Deventer’s release without paying a ransom.

Yehia has been actively engaging with tribal leaders and elders in rural areas of northern Mali, seeking their support to influence the captors positively. The aim is to initiate dialogue on behalf of Gift of the Givers with Al-Qaeda in Mali, as reported by Times Live.

Also read: “Positive feedback” on release of SA hostage Gerco van Deventer

According to Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman, the captors have acknowledged receiving letters, pictures, videos, and a personal appeal from Van Deventer’s family. While the usual practice is to receive a reply within 72 hours, the captors have been considering the offer, as mentioned in a report by News24.


In a positive development, Mali state security has expressed willingness to cooperate and requested an official letter from the South African Department of State Security to assist.

Gift of the Givers has made appeals to the captors, emphasising compassion and urging them to release Van Deventer, particularly in honour of the days of Hajj (pilgrimage).

Van Deventer, aged 47, was abducted in Libya on 3rd November 2017 while en route to a power plant construction site. While three other captured Turkish engineers, taken at the same time, were released after seven months, Van Deventer remained in captivity, and his captors later moved him to Mali. The ongoing efforts by Gift of the Givers and negotiators like Mohamed Yehia Dicko offer hope for his eventual release.

Source: Hope for release: South African hostage closer to freedom in Mali

Also read:


Kidnapped Gerco van Deventer appeals for help to build a bridge to the outside world

Picture: Twitter / maroelajelly

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