Al-Qaeda releases South African kidnapped in Mali in 2011

South Africa’s foreign minister has announced that a man who was kidnapped in Mali by an al-Qaeda-linked group over five years ago is now back home.

Stephen McGown was released at the weekend.

In November 2011 he was taken by the militant group from the town of Timbuktu, which he was visiting on holiday.

The minister said no ransom was paid, and Mr McGown was undergoing medical checks. Another hostage, Johan Gustafsson from Sweden, was released a few weeks ago.

Foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said:

We would like to warmly welcome him back home and wish him good health, good fortune in his life as a free man. It is with sadness though, that his dear mother passed on in May 2017 without seeing her son back home.”

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