Sunday 12th, September 2007 The Advertiser A Martyr For Black Justice Steve Biko, gave his life for Black Justice in South Africa! By Caitlin Pretty Thirty years ago we lost a hero. A man that pain the ultimate price to give the black people of South Africa the same rights as the white man. This man was Steve Biko, civil rights leader, was born 18th December 1946 in King’s William’s Town, South Africa. Thirty years later, on 12th September 1977 in a prison cell Steve Biko died.
The cause of death a brain haemorrhage after being continually and repeatedly beaten while in Police Custody at Pretoria Prison.
He spent nearly all of his adult life fighting for equal rights between black and white people in South Africa. Which at the time was an apartheid country. While still is school Steve Biko began showing an interest into Anti-Apartheid Politics. Due to his interest in Anti-Apartheid Politics he was expelled from his first School Lovedale Institute and was then sent to a Roman Catholic Boarding School.
After graduating Steve Biko became a student at the University of Natal Medical School.
During his time here Steve began to become involved with the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) but later left the union and founded the South African Students Organisation (SASO). Steve Biko was also one of the founders of Black People’s Convention (BPC) in 1972. The BPC worked on projects that lifted the spirits and lives of the Black people. The BPC also successfully brought together close to 70 Black Consciousness groups as one. When Steve Biko was elected as the first leader of the BPC he was expelled from medical school.
After being expelled he began working full time fighting for the Black Community. Due to his public demonstrations on Black Justice by 1973 the Steve Biko 1946 – 1977 Apartheid government had, had enough of dealing with the stirrings Steve Biko created so they ‘banned’ him. The restrictions of the ‘ban’ were that he was not allowed out his home town, Kings William’s Town, he was not allowed to support the BCP. This restricted Biko’s ability to fight for black justice but out of his determination and belief that what he was doing was the right thing he found a way to continue his work with the BPC.
During the 4 years that Steve Biko was banned he made numerous secret visits to public events to make historic speeches. These trips were usually very dangerous and on four occasions Steve Biko was arrested and interrogated. This was legal under the Apartheid era anti-terrorism legislation. It was on one of these trips to make a speech at a student’s rally that Biko was arrested for the fifth and final time. He was transported from where he was arrested to the security police headquarters where he was interrogated extensively. During an interrogation on 7th September Biko obtained an injury to his head.
After obtaining the injury Steve Biko suffered symptoms of acting strangely and being uncooperative. Doctors were brought to Biko and after examining him they determined that there were no signs of Biko having a neurological injury. Not soon after the examination on the 11th, September Steve Biko went into a continuous state of semi-conscious. After another doctors examination the doctor determined that Biko needed to o to the hospital for further examination and treatment. The police officers chose to take Biko to the Pretoria Prison Police Hospital that was over 1,200km away.
During the 12 hours on the road Steve Biko was laying in the back of a Land Rover naked. Only a few hours after arriving at Pretoria Prison Steve Biko still laying naked died on the prison floor from brain damage. When the police publicised Steve Biko’s death they claimed that the cause of his death was a hunger strike but it was found later to have substantial injuries on his head. This injuries showed strong evidence that Steve Biko had been beaten by the police. These injuries were discovered out of shear disbelief and a strong belief that the police were lying by a journalist and friend of Steve Biko, Donald Woods.
Donald Woods publicised Biko’s injuries by taking photographs of his body during a visit with Biko’s wife to see the body. Steve Biko’s funeral was held thirteen days after his death of the 25th, September and over 10,000 people attended. Donald Woods was later forced to flee South Africa for England with his family from fear of the government . Woods later campaigned against apartheid and further publicised Biko’s life and death by writing many newspaper articles and authoring the book, Biko.
Cite this Martyr For Black Justice Steve Biko
Martyr For Black Justice Steve Biko. (2018, Jul 31). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/martyr-for-black-justice-steve-biko/