Steve Biko remembered

Steve Biko
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Wednesday marks 41 years since the death of Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko.

He died of severe head trauma in a prison cell in Pretoria on 12 September 1977.

Six days earlier, he had suffered a major blow to his skull during a police interrogation in Port Elizabeth.

Born in 1946, Steve Biko was the most influential anti-apartheid leader of the 1970s.

As a medical student in 1968, he founded the all-black South African Students’ Organisation with the aim of overcoming the psychological oppression of blacks by whites.

Similar to the Black Power movement in the United States, Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement stressed black identity, self-esteem and self-reliance.

In the 1970s, Black Consciousness spread from the university communities to black communities throughout South Africa.

On the 18 August 1977, he was arrested with another activist at a roadblock in Grahamstown, now known as Makhanda, on his way to a political meeting in Cape Town.

He was tortured and interrogated by police.

A day before his death, he was thrown naked and chained into the back of a police truck, which drove 10 hours to Pretoria.

He was 30-years-old.

On Wednesday, the University of KwaZulu-Natal will host the annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture under the theme ‘SA the Unfinished Revolution’.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa will forever remember the high price Bantu Stephen Biko paid for our freedom.

He paid tribute to the slain leader of the Black Consciousness Movement in Parliament Tuesday night following the launch of a series of books celebrating the crafting process of the country’s constitution.

To date no-one has ever been charged for his death.