The arts and culture department is verifying information regarding Mbuyisa Makhubo’s DNA tests, it said on Saturday.
“[The department] is in the process of clarifying the situation regarding DNA tests done on a man currently in Canada that some maintain could be Mbuyisa Makhubo,” it said in a statement.
“Because of the iconic photograph of him carrying the dying Hector Pieterson during the Soweto uprising of 1976, Mr Makhubo is a historically important figure with a family that is naturally anxious to know for sure one way or another.”
Last year, government said it was waiting for DNA tests to be done.
Former arts and culture minister Paul Mashatile reportedly said at the time that a team had been dispatched to Canada, where the man had been imprisoned for eight years. Makhubo’s mother had not heard from her son since 1978.
He disappeared after a picture of him carrying a dying 13-year-old Hector Pieterson was distributed internationally.
Monday is Youth Day which commemorates the Soweto Uprising.