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GIFT OF THE GIVERS WORKING TO SECURE RELEASE OF SA HOSTAGE IN MALI

JOHANNESBURG – Local aid group Gift of the Givers says it’s still working to secure the release of a South African being held hostage by al-Qaeda militants in Mali.

Stephen McGowan was abducted in 2011 along with Swedish national Johan Gustafsson.

Sweden’s foreign ministry announced Gustafsson’s release on Monday, but no details have been given on McGowan.

Gift of the Givers’ Imtiaz Sooliman says that they’re waiting for information from the organisation’s Mali contact on McGowan.

Sooliman says they are also speaking to Gustafsson’s family.

“We are waiting on feedback from Gustafsson’s family, so that Johan can tell us if he has information on Stephen also.”

The last communication from the kidnappers came in the form of a video of McGowan two years ago, which opened up further negotiations.

Sooliman says that he is hopeful that communications will begin once again.

A screengrab from the latest video of South African Stephen McGowan who is being held hostage in Mali. Picture: Supplied

A screengrab from the latest video of South African Stephen McGowan who is being held hostage in Mali. Picture: Supplied

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