David won for his series of haunting photographs, titled “UCT Under Fire” depicted the student protests at the University of Cape Town’s upper campus in February. It was hailed as “brilliant” by the judges and his peers. Ritchie captured a powerful moment when students - who were protesting over a lack of student accommodation - set fire to priceless paintings and other artworks that were housed at the Fuller and Smuts residences as well as in the Jameson Hall.
“I feel I owe my success to those who have come before me and all my colleagues and fellow photographers at Independent Media who have imparted valuable lessons. Without their guidance and expertise, I certainly would not be where I am today,” said David. Cape Argus
editor Aziz Hartley said, “David truly deserved the award and we are all proud of him. I know David as someone who works hard, is dedicated to the profession and is always willing to learn. His work ethic is impeccable. On behalf of all of us at the Cape Argus I’d like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to him and his family.”
In celebrating David’s achievement, Independent Media also extended its congratulations to its regional winners in the Cape including Cape Times
duo Phando Jikelo and Siyavuya Mzantsi who each won regional awards for the Photographic and Print categories respectively. In Guateng, Sameer Naik at Saturday Star
is this year's joint winner in the Vodacom Sports Category for a record sixth time, and Sheree Bega won the Vodacom award in the CSI/ Sustainability category.
“David’s award is a wonderful reward for the highly capable photographic team at Independent Media. Awards such as these are great for the industry and are evidence of the high calibre of talent at Independent Media. We are very proud of David’s achievement," said Executive Chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé.