It has been one week since South African photographer Shiraaz Mohamed (38) was captured in northern Syria near the Turkish border. Mohamed, who was on assignment in Syria with South African aid organisation Gift of the Givers, was on his way to Turkey when he was kidnapped.
The organisation runs several hospitals in Syria and has facilitated trips to the war-torn country for South African journalists over many years.
Journalists and organisations in Syria are reportedly searching for Mohamed, and Gift of the Givers has been attempting to negotiate his release. The department of international relations and co-operation said they are working with Syrian officials to return Mohamed to South Africa unharmed, but the conflict between various factions in Syria has made international diplomacy difficult.
Some regions in Syria are no longer controlled by the government, but by various rebel groups.
The last time a South African photographer was kidnapped in such dangerous circumstances was in 2011 when freelance photographer Anton Hammerl was killed in captivity in Libya by people loyal to the regime of former Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi.