Stephen McGowan's family still hoping for his return after 2011 Mali abduction

The family of Stephen McGowan, remain hopeful of his release since his abduction in Mali five years ago.

McGowan was abducted by Islamist militants while seated in a restaurant in Timbuktu on 25 of November 2011. The last time his family heard from him was in December 2015.

We hold up with difficulty. There's not much you can do except to hold up. I can't give up.

Malcolm McGowan, father of Stephen McGowan

Speaking to 702's Stephen Grootes, his father Malcolm said efforts by the South African government to secure his return have been fruitless which often leaves him disappointed.

The family has met Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma previously. McGowan has also reached out president Jacob Zuma and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

I got a phone call from the Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo. He said that he was off to the BRICS Summit and he would call me when he got back but I haven't had a call from him since.

Malcolm McGowan, father of Stephen McGowan

The family has stopped paying ransom to his captors and has sought assistance from The Gift of The Givers.

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