When Steve Biko the man died, Biko the martyr was born

Steve Biko
Steve Biko – image credit : www.howsouthafrica.com

source: IOL News
published: 7 September 2020

“I’ve got no doubt in my mind that people, and I know people in terms of my own background where I stay, are not revengeful or sadistic. Now the black man has got no ill intentions for the white man. The black man is only incensed at the white man to the extent that he wants to entrench himself in a position of power to exploit the black man.” – Steven Bantu Biko.

In a month when South Africans are observing the 43rd anniversary of the tragic death in police custody of the founder and leader of black consciousness in South Africa, Steven Bantu Biko, there seems to be a vital need today for leaders of his calibre.

Biko, 30, the courageous leader of the Black Peoples Convention (BPC), died on September 12, 1977, after being brutally battered and assaulted by the notorious apartheid security police. Biko died of head wounds and brain damage 25 days after being detained along with a close comrade, Peter Jones, at a roadblock on August  18, 1977.

Biko was the 43rd South African political detainee to die under mysterious circumstances while in police custody. At the time of his death, Biko, who was the banned president of the BPC, was reportedly involved in moves inside the country to unify the forces of the ANC and the PAC in an attempt to co-ordinate the struggles against white minority rule.

It is understood that he and Jones were on this particular mission when they were stopped at a roadblock between King Williams Town and East London and detained under the regime’s security laws.

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