South Africa

PROVINCIAL DISASTER

Images of Hell: The death and destruction in the aftermath of the KZN floods

A truck breakdown operator prepares to remove a shipping container from the N2 following floods which wreaked havoc in KwaZulu-Natal on 12 April 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

KwaZulu-Natal counts the cost of the floods that have ravaged the province.

WARNING: There are graphic images below

 

A wastepicker at the beach at sunrise collects aluminium cans on 13 April 2022 following heavy rainfall and flooding. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

A resident stands on the N3 highway and watches the destruction as shipping containers lay strewn alongside the R102 on 13 April 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

People stand on a bridge and watch the removal of shipping containers along the N3 highway in KwaZulu-Natal following heavy rains, flooding and mudslides on 13 April 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)
The body of a baby is discovered at Ispingo Beach after heavy flooding in KwaZulu-Natal,  on 13 April 2022.  Daily Maverick is committed to tracking down the circumstances of the baby’s death and will update readers as soon as possible.  (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)
An image taken from beneath a bridge that was washed away on the Griffiths Mxenge Highway near Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal after flooding on 13 April 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)
A battered shipping container and directional sign board on the N3 highway in KwaZulu-Natal on 13 April 2022 following heavy rain in the province. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)
A washed-up van close to Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, on 13 April 2022 following one of the deadliest floods in the province that has killed hundreds of people. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

 

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  • These floods are devastating, and should indeed galvanize action resulting in provincial accountability regarding stormwater infrastructure (as the recent damning Green Drop report showed), and a direct line drawn to greenhouse gas emissions and the urgent need to divest from fossil fuel (and reflecting on how this plays out in the complicated South African energy context). Daily Maverick reporting is leading the way in this respect.

    However, including a picture of a dead baby on a beach is an editorially dubious decision, as it adds no additional weight to the above arguments, and so verges on disaster porn. People have died and the situation is, obviously, already a disaster – so should we look forward to more pictures of dead people from the Daily Maverick in order to belabour a point already well made?

    The baby hasn’t been identified, and neither have the next of kin been informed. Is it ok for one of them to stumble across this article and discover their dead child that way?

    I do not think that this picture is ethically justified. Please remove it.

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