A South African sound engineer kidnapped by gunmen in Nigeria’s restive Niger Delta oil region has been released, his employer television company M-Net said today.
M-Net said Nick Greyling, who was kidnapped with two colleagues all working for the SuperSport satellite channel on March 1, was released late yesterday.
“He was released last night, we don’t know when he is due back in the country,” said Caroline Creasy, head of corporate affairs for Multichoice, the parent company of M-Net and owned by Africa’s biggest media group Naspers.
“We are trying to establish the details of his return and we will be working with the Nigerian and South African authorities on this,” Creasy added.
Talk Radio 702 reported that South African authorities in Nigeria and Nigerian police negotiated the release of Greyling.
Neither South African government officials nor Nigerian police officials were immediately available for comment.
Greyling and his two Nigerian colleagues were kidnapped near the town of Owerri in Imo State, which lies on the edge of the restive Niger Delta oil region. One of the Nigerians escaped soon after the kidnapping and there was no information available on the fate of the other one.
Foreigners, usually working for oil firms, are often kidnapped for ransom in the Niger Delta. Wealthy Nigerians are also frequent targets for the kidnappers.
Thousands of gunmen put down their weapons last year as part of a presidential amnesty aimed at oil militants, but critics say common criminals were among those pardoned and that crime will rise as former rebels seek other sources of income.
Pic: Flag of South Africa