10 August 2017

South Africa: McGown - 'I Did My Best to See the Best in the Bad Situations and the Difficult Times'

Photo: Gift of the Givers Foundation
Stephen McGown (file photo).

After six years in the desert, former South African hostage in Mali, Stephen McGown, is ready to live. KRISTEN VAN SCHIE reports.

Five years and eight months into his captivity under al-Qaeda, after days travelling through the Sahara swapping cars and dodging surveillance aeroplanes, a driver turned to South African hostage Stephen McGown and said, "You are free. You can go."

It was a moment McGown didn't believe when it was happening, just as he hadn't believed his captors days earlier when they had said he would be home soon and should pack his things.

"Take what's important; take what you don't want to leave behind," they had said.

As the days and months and years had gone by, McGown had grown tired of believing, only to "come down with a bang".

And yet on Thursday afternoon, there he was at his first press conference back on South African soil and facing a wall of cameras asking him about life plans and beard plans and just how it felt finding out his mother had died only two months earlier.

McGown, Dutch national, Sjaak Rijke and Swede, Johan Gustafsson were abducted on 25 November, 2011, from a backpackers in Timbuktu, Mali....

South Africa

Gupta-Linked Firm Wanted U.S.$423 Million Local Content Exemption

China South Rail (CSR), the company that allegedly paid R5bn in bribes to the Guptas, has asked the South African… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.