The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has paid tribute to the late veteran photographer, Sam Nzima.

Nzima was well-known for taking the iconic photograph of the dying Hector Peterson during the 1976 Soweto uprising.

He died in Rob Ferreira hospital in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on Saturday night at the age of 83.

Contralesa president President of the traditional leaders’ organisation Kgosi Lameck Mokoena says Nzima played a pivotal role in improving the quality of life of the people of his area.

“As one of our own we are consoled because the program and all that he did when he was still with us, is there for everyone to see. As Contralesa we want to congratulate and thank the Deputy President, Hon D.D Mabuza for the role that he played in recognising Nzima’s role. We want to convey our condolences to the family, their loss is not theirs alone but for all of us as South Africans.”

Meanwhile, Nzima will be laid to rest this coming Saturday in Lillydale, Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.

Speaking to the media after meeting with the Nzima family, Premier Refilwe Mtsweni says they have applied for a state funeral.

Mtsweni also says they will also fulfil Nzima’s wish of building a museum near his home.

Click for related video on life of Sam Nzima: