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Gift of the Givers (File photo) / Beverly McGown, centre, waited over five years for her son's release
The mother of Stephen McGown, the South African man held hostage in Mali for over five years, has died without being reunited with her son.
Mr McGown was on a motor bike trip across Africa when he was abducted. He, together with Swede Johan Gustofsson, have been held by al-Qaeda since their November 2011.
Beverly McGown died in hospital over the weekend, after stress had taken its toll, aged 69.
Stephen’s father Malcolm McGown told me this morning that the family was devastated.
“I have support at the moment with my daughter and the grandchildren here, it would be great if they can be replaced by Stephen when they leave,” he said.
The NGO Gift of the Givers, which has been in the forefront of trying to secure Mr McGown’s release, expressed their sadness.
The aid organisation’s founder Imtiaz Sooliman said: “We had seen the sadness in the mother’s eyes and watched how she patiently waited for the return of her son. We failed her, my heart bleeds for her.”
There was hope that the 42-year-old would be freed after a proof-of-life video was released back in December.Source: BBC