Penney Ellis

Documentary photography

Simon lives in Smokedown with his partner Thumeka. Between them they have seven children, the youngest are twin girls born in November 2017. Three of Thumeka’s children by a previous partner have been taken into care.

Simon talks about building a family with Thumeka. He’s a caring father and talks openly of his love for Thumeka. He says the monthly government-support grant of R400 (£20) for each child will be enough to provide for their children.

Raphael also lives in Smokedown in a makeshift home next to his father’s. Raphael lives with his girlfriend.

Simon worked for Dad in the kennels and Raphael was recruited when the dog-rescue charity took over the kennels. When they pulled out, only Simon could stay on.

Following an argument between Simon and Stewart, Simon walked off, angry. He didn’t return to work the following day, nor the next. At the end of the week he sent Raphael to collect his wages. Stewart said he should collect them himself, he said he and Simon should talk.

That night, Simon attacked Raphael with a metal rod.

Raphael’s father ran to the plot to call for an ambulance. Raphael sustained serious injuries and spent five days in hospital. He was traumatised by the incident.

Simon no longer works at the kennels. He and Raphael still live in Smokedown.