Sam Nzima had died in hospital at the weekend.
“Mr Nzima will be remembered for his significant contribution he made through photojournalism during the struggle against the vicious racist regime. Through his lens, he placed the brutality of the apartheid police in the international spotlight,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.
“Mr Nzima will further be remembered for 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 black schools. We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Nzima family and his relatives. May his soul rest in peace.”
Ramaphosa has ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast in Mpumalanga on Saturday, the day of the funeral. Nzima is best known for capturing the iconic image of Hector Pieterson during the 1976 Soweto uprising.
He was 83.
For his “excellent contribution to photojournalism and putting the brutality of the apartheid police in the international spotlight”, Nzima was honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga in bronze in 2011, which recognises South Africans who excel in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sport.
– African News Agency (ANA)