South African-based journalists and pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered in Johannesburg on Sunday to pay tribute to journalists who lost their lives in the conflict in Gaza.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 83 journalists and media workers have lost their lives since the conflict began. This includes 76 Palestinian journalists, four Israeli journalists, and three Lebanese journalists.
During the vigil, attendees, including journalists, discussed the challenges faced by reporters, touching upon the concept of objectivity. Deshnee Subramany, the organizer of the vigil, emphasized the impact of the ongoing conflict on journalists' ability to maintain objectivity. She stated, "(Objectivity) is even on journalists' minds, especially as this genocide is happening, and we're not really sure where to go and how to say things. So it was a very poignant conversation, and I'm really glad we had it."
In the Gaza Strip, under Hamas rule, the Health Ministry reported 26,083 deaths and over 64,400 injuries since October 7. This period marks the launch of a surprise attack by militants from Gaza in southern Israel, resulting in around 1,200 casualties and approximately 250 hostages.
South Africa has accused Israel of genocide and has approached the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, seeking interim measures while the case proceeds. These measures include halting Israel's offensive, providing Gaza residents access to aid, and ensuring "reasonable measures" are taken to prevent genocide. The vigil in Johannesburg reflects solidarity with the victims and raises awareness of the challenges faced by journalists reporting on the conflict.