Words of condolences continue to pour in following the death of legendary photographer Sam Nzima on Saturday morning.
Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni visited the Nzima family in Bushbuckridge on Monday morning to convey her condolences of behalf of the Mpumalanga government.
Famous for shooting the photo of Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying a dying 12-year-old Hector Pieterson shot by Apartheid cops during the 1976 Soweto student uprisingâ€š the photojournalist died at the Rob Ferreira hospital in Mbombela on the evening of 12 May 2018.
A sad day in the journalism profession as we mourn the loss of Sam Nzima – the photographer that captured this tragic but pivotal picture of a dying Hector Peterson #RIPSamNzimapic.twitter.com/FUzBeCwUBv
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the iconic photo will always be remembered as a symbol of resistance against Apartheid.
“Mr Sam Nzima was one of a kind. His camera captured the full brutality of apartheid oppression on the nation’s psyche and history – from the Defiance Campaign through to forced removals and the Soweto student uprisings,” Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by the Presidency.
“We will especially remember his iconic photograph of a dying young Hector Pieterson which became a symbol of resistance against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in the black schools,” the president said.
It is sad to hear of the passing of the Legendary Lance Man, Sam Nzima’s death. His picture continues to tell in million better ways, the story of June 16; 1976. Good Night Bra Sam! 😞 #RIPSamNzimapic.twitter.com/i3U8ul0aYp
The ANC described Nzima as someone who belonged to a generation of “fearless photojournalists” who used the power of lens to tell the truth.
“His generation courageously confronted the apartheid system and regime by ensuring that the stories of the oppressed masses who yearned for freedom in their lifetime are not relegated to the periphery of history,” spokesman Pule Mabe said.
SANCO said the shooting of the Peterson photo put the Apartheid regime “firmly” on the spotlight.
“At great risk to his personal safety, he showcased the evolution of the struggle for liberation,” spokesman Jabu Mahlangu.
“It depicts his courage and the passion with which he used his skill to advance the course of the struggle for liberation and democracy,” said Mahlangu.
The Congress of the People described him as a “potent weapon” that captured historic moments [which] could never be hidden, distorted or denied by the Apartheid regime.
“The tragic demise of this colossal tower in the liberation struggle and the preservation of its collective history is indeed a great loss to the entire nation,” national chairmanÂ Pakes Dikgetsi said in a statement.
Bushbuckridge veteran photographer Sam Nzima is not happy with the replacement of the faces of Hector Peterson and Mbuyisa Makhubu with dogs in the iconic photograph.
He says he considers taking legal action against the school.
“The drawing really offended me,” he said this week.
“It shows us as dogs. I’m really not happy,” Nzima said.
The iconic photograph was a week ago reproduced as a drawing by a pupil at the Selborne College for the class of 2017 and their faces appear to have been replaced with those of dogs causing a social media storm the past weekend.
The reproduced Selborne college image
Nzima’s instant fame as a photographer working for The World newspaper when it made headlines across the globe.
He copyrighted the photograph with Adams and Adams.
When he took the photo, Nzima was working for The World newspaper – beginning from the late 1960s.
The photo shows the emotional scene of Makhubu carrying a dying 12-year-old Hector and sister Antoinette Peterson (17) running near them.
They were pupils in Soweto during the 1976 student uprising on 16 June where more than 20 000 pupils participated.
Nzima photographed Hector on the corner of Moema and Vilakazi Streets in Orlando West, near Phefeni High School while everyone was running away from cops on the Wednesday morning of the 16 June.
#Selbornecollege So this is an invitation to the Selborne College old boys ceremony. How befitting, they want to relive their 'glory days'. Yet, you would be a fool to be shocked by such. This school is clearly built on the foundations of racism and prejudice pic.twitter.com/Ec6MPvdMUC