The South African photojournalist Peter Magubane, who was one of the great chroniclers of the racist violence of the apartheid system in South Africa, died this Monday at the age of 91, his family announced.

“He passed away today peacefully, surrounded by his family,” announced SANEF, the representative body of the South African press.

This black photographer had served as Nelson Mandela’s official portraitist in the early 1990s, after the release in 1990 of the iconic figure of the fight against apartheid and who in 1994 became the country’s first black president.

“South Africa loses a freedom fighter, a chronicler and photographer without equal,” said the Minister of Culture, Zizi Kodwa, on the social network X. “He fearlessly documented the injustices of apartheid,” he added.

One of Magubane’s best-known photographs was one he took in 1956, showing a white girl sitting on a bench marked “Reserved for Europeans” and her black babysitter sitting on the bench next to it.

The prestigious photojournalist had been imprisoned for periods of several years for having photographed demonstrations in front of a prison or for having disobeyed a court order prohibiting him from continuing to practice his profession.

Magubane published fifteen books, most of which were censored during the apartheid period, which lasted from 1948 to the early 1990s.