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

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Citizen Media, Development, Photography
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 [1] 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 [2] South African radio personality Gareth Cliff with his lawyer, Dali Mpofu, walking near a man who seems to be digging through rubbish.

Gareth Cliff [3] ignited Twitter storm recently after he gave his opinion on Twitter about a racist comment [4] 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 [5] from the judging panel for the televised singing contest South African Idols [6]. He successfully [7]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 [8], 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 [9] since white minority rule ended in 1994. South Africa has one of the most unequal income distribution [10] 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: