source: The Citizen
published: 13 September 2018
The original inquest found the circumstances of Biko’s death to be ‘inconclusive’, although evidence pointed to him being murdered.
As commemoration services began in South Africa yesterday in honour of Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) icon Steve Bantu Biko, Peter Jones, one of the last people to see him alive, called on the government to reopen the inquest into the BCM founder’s death.
Revered as the visionary leader of the BCM, Biko died a horrific death 41 years ago from massive brain haemorrhages resulting from brain injury after he was beaten up by five policemen while in detention in September 1977. Naked and chained in Pretoria Central Prison, Biko was given an intravenous drip by a newly qualified doctor who had no information about him except that he would not eat.
With Biko’s death leaving apartheid-era police minister Jimmy Kruger “cold”, the inquest found the circumstances of Biko’s death to be “inconclusive”, attributing it to “a prison accident”.
However, evidence presented during the 15-day inquest pointed to murder. The inquest heard how Biko, who was detained in a Port Elizabeth police cell, was chained to a grill at night and lay on urine-soaked blankets.