Home » Business » South African Photographer of Iconic Protest Image Dies

Tributes are being paid following the death of Sam Nzima, the South African photographer who took the iconic image of a black high school student carrying a fatally wounded fellow student away from the gunfire of apartheid police in the Soweto student riots of 1976.

Nzima, 83, died Saturday night in a hospital in the northwestern city of Nelspruit, said his son, Thulani Nzima. He said the photographer had collapsed two days earlier but did not recover in the hospital.

Nzima's photograph of the Soweto student uprising galvanized international public opinion against apartheid, South Africa's system of racial discrimination that ended in 1994.

"Sam Nzima was one of a kind," said President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a statement Sunday. "His camera captured the full brutality of apartheid oppression on the nation's psyche and history."

Nzima's photo of the dying Hector Pieterson and strength of the student, Mbuyisa Makhubu, carrying him away from the violence "caused the world to come to terms with the brutality and evil of the apartheid system," said South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, in a statement. "This came at a price to Nzima who was subjected to countless acts of intimidation."

Harassed by the apartheid regime, Nzima left Johannesburg and in 1998 won the copyright for the much reproduced photo. In his later years he taught photography to young students in rural Bushbuckridge.

Source: Voice of America

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