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



Gerco van Deventer

In a heart-wrenching plea for assistance, South African national Gerco van Deventer, who has been held captive in the north of Mali by the JNIM, made a desperate appeal for help. As per News24, the emotional video, released by the humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers, showcases Van Deventer’s plea to regain his freedom and reconnect with the outside world. A father of three, Van Deventer, a paramedic in Libya, was abducted on 3 November 2017. His whereabouts and the well-being of his family remain unknown.

The video, recorded on 26 May, reached Gift of the Givers negotiator Mohamed Yehia Dicko, who is currently in Mali engaging with intermediaries and influential figures to secure Van Deventer’s unconditional release. The negotiation process is paramount, as Van Deventer’s captivity will reach five years and seven months on 3 June. Gift of the Givers’ chairperson and founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, expressed hope for a positive outcome during this crucial week.

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The captors had initially demanded a ransom of approximately $500,000 (R9.5 million) for Van Deventer’s freedom. Still, Sooliman emphasised that no funds would be for ransom payments. Instead, the intermediaries received the video directly from al-Qaeda, and discussions are underway to persuade the captors to release Van Deventer unconditionally.

Throughout South Africa, people have offered prayers and support for Van Deventer’s safe release. The captive’s wife, Shereen van Deventer, and their son also made an impassioned video appeal to al-Qaeda, which the intermediaries shared during the holy month of Ramadan.


As the nation remains hopeful and united in its prayers, Gift of the Givers continues its unwavering efforts to negotiate Van Deventer’s release and reunite him with his loved ones. The collective prayers and support from the people of South Africa serve as a beacon of hope during this challenging ordeal.

Also read:

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

Picture: Twitter / MrCow_man

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