Ntate Phakela

An image in Ntate Phakela’s ‘Aftermath’. Image via Instagram @7venth

Student lensman captures ’emptiness’ of looting aftermath [photos]

Photography student Ntate Phakela captured the aftermath of the looting in Vosloorus. The bold image series is a grim portrayal of what has been unfolding in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Ntate Phakela

An image in Ntate Phakela’s ‘Aftermath’. Image via Instagram @7venth

With permission from the police and armed with his camera, Ntate Phakela visited Naledi Mall and Goldspot in Vosloorus, Gauteng, on 11 July.

The 22-year-old student lensman’s striking images translate the feeling that many South Africans are currently experiencing…that of emptiness. 


The young photography and film student created a photo series of the aftermath capturing the heartbreaking images of an empty Shoprite, vandalised Capitec and Absa ATMs and broken windows at a local KFC. 

Have a look:


Phakela tells Cape Town etc that he is not a trained photojournalist and navigating the environment was all new to him. 

“What I was looking at, through the lens and through my eyes, was a South Africa I didn’t want to see. At this point, I kind of let go… I just pressed the shutter”.

He mentions that he wanted to show his hometown in it’s bare form. After capturing the images, he returned home and wrote down how he was feeling. In part of his piece reads, 

“The ardour of my words were too heavy for the pages. I tried to remember what the burnt buildings and ravaged shop fronts looked like before this momoent. I can’t. It is as if the beautiful images I had of my community had been put in a box thrown in the fire that consumed these buildings.” 


Another image that has truly shocked South Africans — and the world — is that of a mother throwing her baby to safety from a burning building that was allegedly set on fire by looters in Durban on Tuesday 13 July.

BBC have filmed the baby being thrown from the building in Durban. Watch the video here:

ALSO READ: Rapper doesn’t skip a beat: Watch as Tunez RSA steals ‘looting limelight’