He delivered the 19th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture at the University of South Africa ( Unisa ) in Pretoria on Friday night.
The lecture was organised in partnership with Unisa and the Steve Biko Foundation. It was attended by members of the Biko family and some of his contemporaries including Reverend Barney Pityana and Dr Mamphele Ramphele as well as former first lady Zanele Mbeki.
The Steve Biko lecture at Unisa on Friday was the latest in a series of events held to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Biko’s death.
He was murdered at the Pretoria Central Prison on the 12th of September in 1977. But the lecture was held two days later to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Steve Biko Foundation.
President @CyrilRamaphosa with the Founder and Executive Trustee of the @BikoFoundation, Mr Nkosinathi Biko; Principal and Vice Chancellor of @UNISA, Professor Mandla Makhanya at the 19th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture in Tshwane. #BIKOLecture pic.twitter.com/e29jzVCCaB
— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) September 14, 2018
The event was slightly disrupted when some students burst onto the stage, chanting struggle songs and waving placards, some of which read – Remember Marikana and ” Biko is Ours.
But unfazed, President Cyril Ramaphosa continued with his speech urging South Africans to live up to the expectations of the late Bantu Biko and his generation by forging a new nation with true humanity.
“While some regard black consciousness as a historical artifact, the ideas that Steve pronounced are timeless and universal. Even as we have defeated apartheid, even as we have built a democratic state, the psychological and physical visages of institutionalised racism still persists to this day,” says Ramaphosa.
And for the realsiation of a society based on a true humanity as envisaged by Biko, the President said the country needs selfless leaders and hard working society.
He also urged South Africans to work in solidarity to overcome the many challenges facing the country like inequality and exclusion.
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