Ramaphosa and the ANC mourn the passing of photographer Sam Nzima

June 16 lensman Sam Nzima dies

June 16 lensman Sam Nzima dies

His son, Thulani Nzima, confirmed his father passed on at a hospital in Mbombela.

Sam Nzima died at the age 83 in hospital Saturday in the country's Mpumalanga province, the presidency said Sunday.

"We understand that he was also a public figure and not just a family man, so we will be sharing information with the public as and when it becomes available", he said.

Nzima was known for capturing the iconic image of a black high school student who, during the Soweto Uprising, picked up the dying 13-year-old Hector Pieterson and, under gunfire of the apartheid police, carried him away from the chaos. Altogether, 575 people were killed that day.

Legendary photojournalist Sam NzimaNzima is remembered for taking the iconic photo of Hector Pieterson that drew the world's attention to the atrocities of apartheid during the 1976 uprising. Nzima was put under house arrest after his Pieterson image was published around the world.


Nzima said that for many years he regretted taking the photo because it destroyed his career in journalism. Eventually, however, due to its lasting effect and influence, he became proud of it.

"Suddenly the world could no longer ignore apartheid", wrote Time.

"Mr Sam Nzima was one of a kind, ? said President Cyril Ramaphosa, "his camera captured the full brutality of apartheid oppression on the nation?s psyche and history". The museum, opened in 2002 in Soweto, shows the history of the Soweto students' uprising on June 16, 1976. "The seeds of worldwide opposition that would eventually topple the racist system had been planted by a photograph".

While white South Africa was cushioned to the reality of what was going on in the townships, black newspaper staffers such as Nzima risked their lives - both from the protesters and policemen - to expose the truth.

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