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One Photo, One Thousand Words About Post-Apartheid South Africa

Some of the tweets discussing Alon Skuy's photograph.

Some of the tweets discussing Alon Skuy's photograph from users @LanC_02, @gussilber, @BIZKID_WORLD and @LeMondZuid

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.

On Twitter, one use asked, making reference to Cliff's lawyer's party, the Economic Freedom Fighters:

Shabtai Gold noted that the photo was not staged:

While @fullframeSA praised the shot:

The photo has prompted some to search for more photos by Skuy:

  • Nasdaq7

    You are a pathetic lot.

    Google poor double since the end of apartheid BBC

    It’s not the fault of the whites! Check this is what blacks get and whites don’t get:

    The black population gets free jobs, free houses, free child care grants ( 16 million are on government welfare – 98% are black, free electricity, free loans, free water, free municipal jobs, free job promotions, free stock market shares, free business deals, free municipal contracts, salary increases that are far higher than the inflation rate, free hostels, free low personal income tax rates, free farm land, free school funding, free school meals and free school transport plus university and technicon, sports and bursary quotas – that’s what the black people enjoy and the whites don’t even have that. 98% of the entire country’s budget is spent on the black population. 98% !

    • abdoulayebah

      What a pasha life for black people! Is there anybody working to provide all these free services to the black people?

      By the way, I would like a white servant, bodyguard, cook, driver, farmer, etc!

  • Pingback: One Photo, One Thousand Words About Post-Apartheid South Africa « Hon. Nsereko Muhammad()

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