Tributes pour in for Sam Nzima

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Tributes continue to come in for late photographer Sam Nzima who was best known for taking the famous photograph of the dying Hector Peterson during the 1976 Soweto uprising.

He died in the Rob Ferreira hospital in Mbombela last night at the age of 83.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed his condolences to the family of late veteran photographer Sam Nzima. In a statement Ramaphosa described Nzima as a “one for a kind”.

Senior members of the ANC in Mpumalanga have visited Nzima’s family. Safety and Security MEC Pat Ngomane was among them. He’s described Nzima as someone who always wanted to see young people prosper in life.

Former journalist Dr Thami Mazwai described the late Sam Nzima as a rare breed of photojournalist. Dr Mazwai worked with Nzima back in the 1970s to early 90’s and he says Nzima knew how to tell a story through his lens.

“The camera was an extension of his body. It just automatically clicked at the right moment and it would capture some of the best images that one can think of. The importance of that was that the image then became living testimony. He was sort of reserved and very humble.”

The iconic picture came to be known as the symbol of June 16 or Youth Day. The image was published in The World Newspaper and its capturer Nzima was placed under house arrest.

Nzima collapsed on Thursday and was rushed to hospital.

NEC member Reginah Mhaule visited the family. “We are waiting for the premier to pronounce how the province will pay respect.”

The family is yet to confirm funeral arrangements.

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