State owned entity Denel has welcomed the release of the nine employees of its DLS-Mechem division that were taken hostage in May.
“Denel welcomes the release of nine employees from the DLS-Mechem division of the company who were taken hostage in southern Senegal in early May. No ransom was paid for the release of the employees,” said Denel’s group communications manager Vuyelwa Qinga.
The workers were released on Saturday. They formed part of a group of 12 abducted while they were perfoming humanitarian demining activities on behalf of the United Nations in the Casamance province of Senegal on 3 May.
The nine employees were handed over to authorities yesterday afternoon and will be reunited with their families soon, said the aerospace and defence technology company.
The company’s Group Chief Executive, Riaz Saloojee, has thanked the negotiators, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Development Programme and the government of Senegal for their “unrelenting “efforts to secure the release of the employees.
The employees will undergo thorough medical examinations, counselling and be supported in their reintegration into their families and communities.
All 12 employees who were captured by the rebel forces are Senegalese citizens. Three female staff members were released on 28 May. –SAnews.gov.za