Tributes pour in for Sam Nzima

Economic Freedom Fighters' General Secretary Godrich Gardee has paid tribute to Nzima on Twitter saying he must rest in powerful peace.

Former photojournalist Sam Nzima sharing some of his memorable moments in his home studio in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Condolences are pouring in following the passing of veteran and renowned photojournalist Sam Nzima.

The legendary photographer died at the age of 83 on Saturday.

Nzima is known for capturing the iconic picture of Hector Pieterson on 16 June 1976 during the youth uprising in Soweto.

Towards his final years, Nzima had been running a school of photography in his hometown of Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.

Political analyst and Nzima’s friend Somadoda Fikeni says the late photojournalist showed great humility despite the impact his work made on the world, calling him a warm and gentle person who was a pleasure to be around.

Fikeni first met Nzima in 2005 while working at the National Heritage Council as he trying to locate legendary South Africans who had slipped out of the public radar.

He says the quiet and humble Nzima made an impact on him.

“Such a gentle soul, you would never associate him with the great works of photography because he was humility personified in his greatness.”

WATCH: Sam Nzima remembers June 16

At the same time, the African National Congress says its deeply saddened by the passing of the renowned photojournalist, who is being remembered for his fearless dedication to exposing the brutality of apartheid through his work.

Nzima was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Bronze in 2011, which recognises South Africans who excel in arts, culture, music, journalism and sport.

Spokesperson Pule Mabe says Nzima was a courageous and talented journalist who captured a moment which were important in defeating the apartheid regime.

“It is this photo that forced the world to come to terms with the brutality of and evils of apartheid system. It came at a price as Nzima was subjected to countless acts of intimidation and harassment by the cowardly security police who kept him under constant surveillance.”

Economic Freedom Fighters' General Secretary Godrich Gardee, and many others, has paid tribute to Nzima on Twitter saying he must rest in powerful peace.

Sixteen June 1976’s history is captured with a dying Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhabu in his hands running alongside Peterson’s sister Antoinette Sithole.

That picture hardened international opinion against South Africa’s apartheid regime, which later led to sanctions being imposed.

Nzima took official credit for the picture in 1998 after a lengthy copyright battle.

The veteran photographer collapsed on Thursday and had been hospitalised since.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)