Anti-apartheid photojournalist Magubane has died

Renowned South African anti-apartheid photojournalist Dr Peter Magubane has passed away aged 91.

The news of the lensman’s passing was confirmed by his daughter Fikile Magubane on Monday afternoon.

According to reports Fikile said her father died at home surrounded by his family, days before his 92 birthday on January 18.

Magubane was passionate about his work

“My father passed peacefully at midday. He was not well, he’s passed on peacefully. My father would have been 92 on the 18th of January,” said Magubane.

She said her father will be dearly missed by his family and they will remember his passion about his work.

“We will remember him as a very hard working, conscientious photographer. He was very passionate about his work, everything else would stop when it comes to his work. We are very pained with the passing of our father,” she added.

He was also a wordsmith

Magubane was not only exceptional behind the lens but he was a solid wordsmith and wrote 16 books which include: Black as I am, Black Child and Magubane’s South Africa.

He started to work for Drum magazine and documented the daily struggles of black South Africans.

He faced persecution, including arrest and 586 days in solitary confinement. However the resolute Magubane kept exposing injustice, using his camera.

In 1975, he faced a five-year photography ban but defied it during the 1976 Soweto uprising.

Despite the arrests, in 1990, Magubane started a new role as Nelson Mandela’s official photographer as South Africa was slowly moving to democracy.

The minister of sport, arts and culture Zizi Kodwa has since sent a message of condolences to the Magubane family.


“My thoughts and prayers are with Dr Magubane’s family,” he wrote on X.

“South Africa has lost a freedom fighter, a masterful storyteller and lensman. He was recognised by the department in the Van Toeka AF Living Legends Recognition series. Dr Peter Magubane fearlessly documented apartheid’s injustices,” said Kodwa.

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