South Africa, World

Podcast: The Wait Is Almost Over

By Sound Africa 3 January 2017

In this two-part episode, Sound Africa delves into the gripping account of two South African hostages kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in Yemen, and a South African NGO's tireless efforts to rescue them. By SOUND AFRICA.

In May 2013, Pierre and Yolande Korkie were captured by armed men in Taiz, Yemen. It soon turned out that the couple had fallen into the hands of Al-Qaeda. This was shortly after the revolution that saw long-time dictator Ali Abdaleh Saleh ousted from power, resulting in widespread political instability. In this context al-Qaeda was able to make a resurgence and even claim large chunks of territory, while the central government crumbled and tribal militias and rebel groups fought to consolidate and expand their power.

In The Wait is Almost Over, Yolande recalls the details of her and Pierre’s captivity, relations with their captors, and the ever-present threat of US drone strikes. This is the story of painstaking efforts to track down the Korkies and the delicate negotiations that ensued. Sound Africa’s Micah Reddy interviews the civilian negotiators working in life-threatening conditions to bring the South Africans home, and looks at how these efforts ran into conflict with government policies – not only those of the South African government but foreign governments as well. We also ask questions that the Korkie story raises about US foreign policy in the region:

Sound Africa   is an independent South African podcast collective. The podcast above is part of our inaugural season, and we’re pleased to announce the imminent release of our second season, Nuclear SA, which will be published on the Daily Maverick website early in 2017. Visit   to find our more about us and support independent media in SA.


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