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Value your freedom - Renowned photographer

Sam Nzima witnessed Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying the boy away from the clashes at the Soweto uprising.

June 16 will be celebrated on Saturday.

MPUMALANGA - The man who took the iconic photo of Hector Pieterson has urged the country's youth to value their freedom just as the country prepares to commemorate the 16 June uprising on Saturday.

Sam Nzima covered the Soweto uprising in 1976 and witnessed Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying the 13-year-old boy away from the clashes between police and students.

His picture has since become a symbol of sacrifice made by that generation.

Nzima said he remembers every aspect of what was meant to be a peaceful gathering to protest the use of Afrikaans as a medium of education.

"[The police commander] went straight to the students and asked 'Wat maak julle kelintjies hierso' (What are you doing here)?

"And the students immediately started to sing 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' ('Lord Bless Africa' in Xhosa). I think the commander of the police was agitated by that, pulled his gun on the crowd and shot straight at the students. On the first shot, he said 'Skiet' (Shoot)!"