South Africa’s longest-held hostage released by al-Qaeda in Algeria.

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South African paramedic Jerco van Deventer has been released in Algeria after a long period of captivity by al-Qaeda.
after spending a period of six years and one month in captivity, making him the longest held South African hostage.

He was kidnapped in Libya in 2017 and sold to an al-Qaeda-linked group in Mali a year later.
Gift of the Givers, an organization that has spent five years trying to recover him, says an unidentified man from Mauritania facilitated Van Deventer’s release.

Gift of the Givers said in a statement: “South African State Security confirmed last night that Algerian State Security called to inform them that Gerco is freed, is with them and taken to hospital for a health review. We await the next step on his health and arrangements to bring him home to be reunited with wife Shereen and son Asher,”

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