Govt says they’re confident about safe return of SA al-Qaeda hostage in Mali

The Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) say that they are assured that Stephen McGowan, abducted by al-Qaeda in Timbuktu almost four years ago, will return alive to South Africa and his family.

McGowan appeared in a new video pleading with South African government to secure his freedom and thanking his family for their support.

Dirco Spokesperson Nelson Kgwete says that although they cannot disclose details of the situation, in fear of compromising McGowan’s safety, they are working with the relevant stakeholders to negotiate his release.

It is very emotional to see Stephen in that condition in the video. We’ve worked with various stakeholders in Mali and elsewhere to try and negotiate his release... We are very confident that he will return alive.

Nelson Kgwete, Dirco Spokesperson

According to Kgwete, Dirco was previously in contact with the kidnappers, but have struggled to make contact since the Mali government was overthrown. He advises that they have other contingency arrangements in place to deal with this obstacle.

A hopeful father

Malcolm McGowan, Stephen's father, says that he has not given up despite the fact the he hasn’t spoken to his son since his abduction.

At least he is still alive. He is once again appealing to government to do something to get him out. It’s been over three and a half years at this stage.

Malcolm McGowan, Stephen McGowan's father

Malcolm says that he has received support from the public and is personally doing all he can to respond to his son’s plea.

I think money is paid at the end of the day. I said I would gather together what I can to pay. But families can’t afford what governments are able to, although in all rights, the government shouldn't have to pay.

Malcolm McGowan, Stephen McGowan's father

For more information on Dirco's rescue efforts, visit the EWN website.

Listen to the full conversation on The John Robbie Show:


Read More
Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

Major medical breakthrough: New gene pegged as cause of heart attacks in youth

This is being called the biggest medical advancement in South African cardiology since Dr Chris Barnard's first heart transplant.

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

Parents urged to check tertiary institutions are legit before registering kids

The Council on Higher Education says parents need to be wary of the increasing number of fly-by-night tertiary institutions.

New app to detect hearing loss

New app to detect hearing loss

University of Pretoria has developed a new app which uses a smartphone to detect hearing loss.

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

UK prison officers manage to quell mass inmate riots

Britain recorded the worst prison riots in 26 years after 600 inmates at a prison in Birmingham embarked on a 12-hour riot.

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Gauteng tops drunk driving offences since start of the festive season

Traffic authorities have arrested more than 3 000 people for various traffic offences, with drunk driving as the leading offence.

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

2016 news wrap: A look back at the stories that grabbed SA's attention

Barry Bateman spoke to Stephen Grootes to unpack the meaning behind the stories that dominated the headlines in 2016.

Popular articles
'ANC may split if Dlamini-Zuma is elected leader'

'ANC may split if Dlamini-Zuma is elected leader'

Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni sat down with Ray White to discuss the future of the ANC.

The Steinhoff Story: from humble beginnings to billions

The Steinhoff Story: from humble beginnings to billions

Financial Mail editor Rob Rose chats to Eusebius McKaiser about how Steinhoff became the retail giant we know, before the fall.

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Predictably awesome new Nando's ad reminds South Africans ‘we can fix our sh$t’

Watch the Guptas pack their bags and run in Nando's inspiring new advertisement.

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

PSG Chair Jannie Mouton opens up (kind of) about Steinhoff

In 2012 Steinhoff acquired 20% of wealth manager PSG, reportedly infuriating Mouton. Bruce Whitfield interviews him.

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

German prosecutors probing Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste (for accounting fraud)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Steinhoff International Chairperson Christo Wiese.

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...