A photo taken on January 26, 2016, outside the High Court in Johannesburg, South Africa, has drawn attention to income inequality in post-apartheid South Africa.
The shot, taken by Alon Skuy, a South Africa photographer working for South African newspaper, The Times, shows a controversial South African radio personality Gareth Cliff with his lawyer, Dali Mpofu, walking near a man who seems to be digging through rubbish.
Gareth Cliff ignited Twitter storm recently after he gave his opinion on Twitter about a racist comment made by estate agent Penny Sparrow calling black South African beach-goers ‘monkeys’. Reacting to Sparrow's offensive comment, Cliff said, “people don’t understand free speech at all”.
Following the storm, Cliff was removed from the judging panel for the televised singing contest South African Idols. He successfully challenged his removal in court where the judge argued that the case was about contracts and not racism or free speech.
Cliff, a white South African, was represented in court by Dali Mpofu, a black South African. Mpofu is the chairman of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a militant pro-black socialist party in South Africa.
The photo in question, which has been shared widely on social media, is considered by commenters the best visual representation of post-apartheid South Africa, where income inequality has worsened since white minority rule ended in 1994. South Africa has one of the most unequal income distribution patterns in the world.
— Elle West (@elle_west_ct) January 29, 2016
South Africa… 🇿🇦
We have a looonnnggg way to go.
Thank You Alon Skuy. pic.twitter.com/uvdXv4EVbo
— #YMS∞ (@BIZKID_WORLD) January 29, 2016
That pic by Alon Skuy:A summary of Post-Apartheid SA.
— Zimbali Mncube (@Zimbali_Mncube) January 29, 2016
On Twitter, one use asked, making reference to Cliff's lawyer's party, the Economic Freedom Fighters:
— Internet Activist ZA (@TupacZA) January 29, 2016
Shabtai Gold noted that the photo was not staged:
Truly brilliant image from South Africa. not staged. By Alon Skuy https://t.co/z5GRxPZne1
— Shabtai Gold (@velvetart) January 29, 2016
While @fullframeSA praised the shot:
— Fullframepictures_ (@fullframeSA) January 29, 2016
The photo has prompted some to search for more photos by Skuy:
Currently on google checking out Alon Skuy's work.
— Summer Reign (@Khuthii) January 29, 2016