Minister Nathi Mthethwa message to the Schadeberg family wishing legendary photographer Jürgen Schadeberg a speedy recovery

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21 Jul 2018

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa would like to express his heartfelt wishes for the speedy recovery of your husband- legendary photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, following the recent admission of this legend and icon of visual storytelling into a hospital in Spain.

Minister Mthethwa knows Mr Schadeberg as the world-renowned photographer who captured some of the world’s most memorable images since migrating to South Africa in 1950 and becoming Chief Photographer, Picture Editor and Art Director at Drum Magazine. The photograph Schadeberg took of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in the law office he shared with Oliver Reginald Tambo in 1952 is the only record of the law office.

He also captured some of the most vivid and memorable images of the 1952 Treason Trial. It is impossible to forget incredible images he took that represented the life and struggle of South Africans during Apartheid: images including those Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Yusuf Dadoo, Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Kippie Moeketsi. His image of Mandela looking through the bars of his Robben Island Cell in 1994 – deservedly so in Minister Mthethwa’s view- was voted as one of the 50 most memorable images of the 20th century by The Photographers Gallery in London.

Minister Mthethwa further wishes to pay tribute to his dedication in documenting key cultural, historical and political personalities and events from the fifties and subsequent decades in South Africa. In his words:

“When I arrived in South Africa in 1950 from Germany I found two societies running in parallel with each other without any communication whatsoever. There was an invisible wall between the two worlds. The Black World, or "Non-European World" as described by white society, was culturally and economically rejected by the White World. Only servants and menial workers could enter the White World. In the fifties The Black World was becoming culturally and politically very dynamic, whereas the White World seemed to me to be isolated, cocooned, colonial and ignorant of the Black World.” - Jürgen Schadeberg

On behalf of the Department of Arts and Culture in the Republic of South Africa, I wish Mr Schadeberg a speedy recovery and best wishes for progress, and encouragement, every day during his recuperation.                                                                                                                              

For further enquiries, please contact: Miss Asanda Magaqa, Spokesperson for the Minister of Arts and Culture Hon. Nathi E. Mthethwa: (M) 082 572 3232 and (E)

Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture