Photographer James Oatway, who captured the chilling images of the assault and murder of Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole in Alexandra at the weekend, says the anger that’s been directed towards him by the public is misplaced.
Sithole was attacked by at least two men, who were armed with a monkey wrench and knife, on an Alexandra street on Saturday morning. Although Oatway and reporter Beauregard Tromp tried to get Sithole to medical assistance, he later succumbed to his wounds. Oatway has come under fire for photographing the incident instead of intervening and trying to prevent the assault.
But Oatway told Radio 702’s John Robbie on Monday morning, that he had done everything he could to help Sithole at the time.
“The one regret that I have was that the first clinic that we took him to, which was just up the road, weren’t equipped to treat him and we did lose some valuable time taking him out of the car there, taking him into the clinic and then the nurses told us that there’s no doctor there. They patched – they put a gauze dressing on his wound – and then we put him back in the car, but that whole process took about 10 minutes,” he said.
Asked for a response to those who believe that such graphic images should not be placed on the front page of newspaper, Oatway said that pictures like these show the “absolute stark reality” of the situation.
“It’s not easy to look at and I understand that some people might be offended by that, but really people have to know what’s happening, and people have to see the brutality and the vulgarity of what’s going on, so I’ve got no regrets that it’s on the front page,” Oatway said.
“I think that people who are angry with me for taking the pictures… should try and direct their anger at the men that are responsible for the attack and not at me,” he added.
You can listen to the full interview here: