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Photographer honored for iconic picture of Soweto uprising

AP reports: A South African photographer is being honored for helping expose apartheid's brutality to the world with a picture that ended his career.

President Jacob Zuma will today bestow national honors on Sam Nzima for a photograph reminiscent of the "Pieta" he took 35 years ago showing a dying Hector Pieterson, a 13-year-old shot by police during the 1976 Soweto uprising.

Denis Farrell / AP

South African photographer Sam Nzima poses with his iconic photo showing Hector Pieterson, a 13-year-old shot by police during the 1976 Soweto uprising, in Pretoria, South Africa on April 27. Nzima is being honored for helping expose apartheid's brutality to the world with the picture that ended his career because police were so enraged by the attention his photograph drew.

Nzima says the photograph seen around the world "tells the story of what happened. You don't even need a caption to see that something terrible has happened."

In an interview today, Nzima said police were so enraged by the attention his photograph drew, he feared they would kill him. He left Johannesburg and his newspaper to become a businessman in a small eastern South African town.

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A memorial to Hector Pieterson was erected in the early 1990s in Khumalo Street, Soweto, a few hundred meters from where he was shot. The Hector Pieterson Museum opened on the same site in 2002.

Read a more extensive interview with Sam Nzima.