No evidence that SA doctor killed in Syria was linked to al-Qaeda, lawyer says

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder and chairman at Gift of the Givers has confirmed that Dr Feroz Ganchi, a South African killed in an airstrike in Syria, was part of the organisation in 2009.

Ganchi was working in a refugee camp in Syria when the airstrike took place.

Sooliman says he met Ganchi in 2009 in Egypt when he became part of his medical team.

I watched the interrogation team questioning him and I couldn't understand why.

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Founder and chairman - Gift of the Givers

He says he last saw Ganchi at the airport in Egypt where he was kept behind for further questioning related to an incident in Pakistan a few years ago on suspicion of having links to al-Qaeda.

We came back to South Africa three weeks later and he was not part of the team the whole time we were in Gaza. I think Dirco brought him home about three weeks later but I have never seen him since.

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Founder and chairman - Gift of the Givers

Sooliman confirms that there are 27 South Africans still in Syria and the government is still investigating their whereabouts.

Lawyer to the Ganchi family, Yousha Tayob says Ganchi was dedicated in helping the Muslim people in Syria whenever they needed medical attention.

He explains that there was no substance to the allegations that he was linked to al-Qaeda and that he was released without charge.

There is no evidence of such, unfortunately, that seems to be the agenda.

Yousha Tayob, Lawyer

Syria is a complete mess but we are doing whatever we can through Dirco. We are still trying to find his family in order to obtain 100% confirmation that the doctor is really dead.

Yousha Tayob, Lawyer

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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