Auctioning off our history

2014-12-07 15:00

This week, Clive and Susan Steele tried to auction, for profit, the autopsy reports of struggle leader Steve Biko and anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.

Biko is as important as Nelson Mandela to South Africa’s past, present and future, while Timol’s brutal death after police torture is a scar on our national conscience.

The Steele siblings are the children of Maureen Steele, the PA of pathologist Jonathan Gluckman, who represented Biko’s family at his inquest.

They say the documents were placed with their mother for safekeeping as Gluckman feared for his life and work at the time of Biko’s death.

Their attorney claims that the documents were “a file copy of an original autopsy report”.

This week, the two tried to auction the documents. Their action is shameful, yet they presented themselves as being wronged when a court stopped the auction after the Steve Biko Foundation stepped in. The documents belong in the national archives, so we will not forget how Biko (and Timol) suffered for our freedom.

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