Freed South African hostage’s family thanks Algerian govt


The family of a South African hostage who was recently released thanked the Algerian authorities for the part that they played in the freeing, according to Africa News and agencies.

48-year-old Gerco Van Deventer was kidnapped in November 2017 in Libya by Al-Qaeda militants and was released on December 17 at the border with Mali and Algeria. 

After being let go, he was taken to Algiers for medical treatment and his family noted that he had since returned from the hospital.  

He was brutally abducted on his way to a power plant construction site 1000 km away from the capital Tripoli, where it is believed that he worked. He was then moved to Mali. 

READ: Tebboune praises Algerian judiciary despite political trials

In a statement on December 25, Van Deventer’s family voiced their “sincere gratitude to the Algerian government for its role in Gerco’s release”. 

His relatives also thanked the South African intelligence services and non-governmental organisations who played a key role in him regaining freedom. 

Van Deventer’s family added, “The immediate family have spent the last few days together. Gerco has received appropriate medical assistance and is in good health and spirits”, and that they would make more information public in the days to come.  

The 48-year-old was one of the longest held captives on the African continent and he as well as three Turkish nationals were kidnapped in tandem just over 6 years ago. The Turks were freed back in 2018. 

Africa News/BBC News


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