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Maritime Security

SY Chozil couple Deborah Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari get released almost two years after being take hostage by Somali pirates.

The couple now free from their captives arrived in South Africa on Wednesday.

They were captured in October 2010 from a sailing yacht Chozil  off the coast of Tanzania.

Emotions ran high as they spoke to reporters at a Johannesburg airport news conference.  They told how they were fed only small amounts of rice, pasta and bread.

Freed in Somalia last week they travelled home via Italy in order to see Pelizzari’s family.

Calitz and Pelizzari were held for 20 months, which is amongst the longest periods hostages have been held by Somali pirates.

A ransom of $10 million was originally demanded, which the couple’s relatives said they could not pay.  The couple’s family sought donations and organized concert fundraisers.

They were promised release three times before finally being freed.

The South African government helped secure their freedom in a joint effort with Italy and Somalia.

The details and terms of their release are not yet known.