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This Photographer Shows the Violence of the Most Dangerous City in Africa


Cape Town is the most dangerous city in South Africa and one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Freelance photojournalist Leon Knipe follows the police to crime scenes and works to document as many murders as he can. The 5-minute video above by Shaun Swingler is about Knipe’s life and work (warning: it contains graphic photos of horrific crime scenes).

Cape Town has the 9th highest murder rate in the world, Swingler shares. Of the 52 people murdered in South Africa each day, the largest proportion of them is killed in Cape Town.

Much of the violence has to do with turf battles between rival gangs who compete in the lucrative drug trade.

“I think only photographers understand each other because we know what we give up,” Knipe says. “It’s a very lonely thing.”

While filming Knipe at work in the span of just one hour on a Thursday evening, Swingler watched the photographer document two different murder scenes in which 8 people were shot and 4 people were killed.