Gift of the Givers, Turkish governor to meet over SA journo's kidnapping

The photojournalist accompanied the aid group to the war-torn country & was kidnapped last Tuesday.

South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Gift of the Givers is expected to meet with the Turkish governor on Monday to discuss the kidnapping of South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed in Syria.

The photojournalist accompanied the non-governmental organisation (NGO) to the war-torn country.

He was kidnapped last Tuesday by unidentified armed men while trying to leave Syria through the Turkish border.

Gift of the Givers says there were protests in Syria at the weekend, calling for Mohamed’s release.

Founder Imtiaz Sooliman says people from as far as London have offered to help search for Mohamed.

“Momentum is increasing and people are very unhappy, because they say it can affect the aid being received from South Africa and they don’t want the first world to harm them."

They say the kidnapping of the photojournalist may have been a misunderstanding.

According to his drivers, who were released, the gunmen did not make it clear about who they were representing and were not aggressive.

Gift of the Givers has confirmed that a former al-Qaeda group has volunteered to assist with finding Mohamed.

Meanwhile, Sooliman says the Islamic State does not operate in the area where Mohamed was taken.

Sooliman says they can only speculate about the motive behind Mohamed’s kidnapping at this point.

Mohamed was last seen in Darkush, a town in Syria along the Turkish border.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)