How Steve Biko died

2012-09-20 09:00

Xolela Mangcu's Biko is the first comprehensive biography of Steve Biko, an exceptional and inspirational leader who changed the course of South African history. As leading anti-apartheid activist and thinker, Biko created Black Consciousness, which has resonance to this day.

His death by torture, at the hands of the police, robbed South Africa of one of its most gifted leaders.

Below in an excerpt from Biko – A Biography, Mangcu describes Biko's arrest and how he was killed.

The Arrest

At the roadblock the police asked Steve and Jones to step out and open the boot. Jones, who was driving, followed their orders but struggled to open the boot. The car’s boot had to be opened in a special way, known only to Rams Ramokgopa, back at Zanempilo.

Apparently, the car had been in a minor accident resulting in a small dent above the left tail-light that jammed the lid. Whilst Jones tugged at the boot, the police kept accusing him of being a terrorist on his way to see Steve Biko, while Steve sat quietly in the passenger seat. Jones tried to make light of his struggle with the boot and invited one of the policemen to have a try. 

After a while the senior officer, Colonel Alf Oosthuizen, ordered the unit to clear the roadblock and to take Steve and Jones to the nearby police station in Grahamstown.

Oosthuizen drove with Steve in Ramokopa’s car while Jones drove with the other officers. The police searched the car thoroughly at the police station. Jones recalls that “they even went through the ash in the ash-tray. It was now clear that this was not a joke.”

They found Jones’s wallet, which, apart from an amount of R43, contained his identity document. And then Oosthuizen bellowed in Afrikaans: “As jy Peter Cyril Jones is, dan wie is daai groot man?” – If you are Peter Cyril Jones, then who is that big man?

Steve realised how awkward the situation was for his friend. On principle, Jones would not reveal Steve’s identity, exposing himself to torture and imprisonment. Yet in the end the police would find out anyway. Steve interjected: “I am Bantu Steve Biko.”

And then there was silence. “Biko?” retorted Oosthuizen, mispronouncing the B. “No, Bantu Steve Biko,” retorted Biko, pronouncing the Bs in his name silently.

The two men were separated. Jones was taken to Algoa Police Station and Steve to Walmer Police Station, both in Port Elizabeth, about 250 km from King William’s Town.

I was in front  and Steve was a couple of paces behind me.  My entourage stopped at a Kombi and I was told to enter and lie face down on the floor between the seats. I turned to look at Steve who had just passed us and I called his name out loud. He stopped to look at me and called my name and we smiled a greeting which was interrupted when I was slapped violently into the Kombi. This was the last time I ever saw my comrade – alive or dead.

Over the next months Jones was repeatedly interrogated and tortured. He was detained for nearly eighteen months. 

During the height of my interrogation there wasn’t a spot on my body that wasn’t either swollen, bruised or sensitive. At times, I struggled to find a comfortable sleeping position, resorting to sleeping in a kneeling position with my forehead resting on the floor.

How Steve Was Killed

At Walmer Police Station Steve was kept naked and manacled for 20 days before being transferred to the notorious Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth. The security police there resented the respect Steve enjoyed from the King William’s Town security police. Stories had reached them that Steve had, in a previous stint in detention, even fought back and had punched one of the senior officers in King William’s Town, Warrant Officer Hattingh.

When he arrived at the Sanlam Building the security police told him to remain standing. After a while he sat down. That was when one of the policemen, Captain Siebert, grabbed him and pulled him back onto his feet. A “scuffle” ensued, and true to what he had told Sonwabo Yengo, Steve would defend himself.

On 6 September Steve sustained a massive brain haemorrhage. The cause of his death was not disputed: complications resulting from a brain injury. Steve suffered at least three brain lesions occasioned by the application of force to his head; the injury was suffered between the night of 6 September and 07:30 on 7 September.

In their amnesty application the policemen who killed Steve tried to evade spelling out what exactly had happened in the same way that they had during the original Biko Inquest in 1977. The details are not fully known. However, they admitted that after Steve had suffered a brain injury, they still kept him in a standing position. They shackled his hands and feet to the metal grille of the cell door. The police noticed that he was speaking with a slur but would not relent and continued with their interrogation.

Equally complicit in Steve’s murder were three doctors involved in the case, the district surgeon Dr Ivor Lang, the chief district surgeon Dr Benjamin Tucker and Dr Colin Hersch, a specialist from Port Elizabeth.

On September 7, one day after Steve suffered the brain haemorrhage, the police called in Dr Lang. Lang could find nothing wrong with Steve, despite the fact that he found him in a daze with a badly swollen face, hands and feet.

Instead the doctor alleged that Steve was “shamming”. Lang’s more senior colleague, Dr Benjamin Tucker, was called in for his opinion on what should be done. Tucker suggested that Steve be taken to hospital, but the police strongly objected, and Tucker subordinated his Hippocratic oath to their wishes.

Lang, even though he was acutely aware of Steve’s condition, recommended that Steve be driven 700 kilometres to the prison hospital in Pretoria. By 10 September Steve’s condition had deteriorated alarmingly. The following day, September 11, the police put Steve in the back of a Land Rover and drove him for more than twelve hours from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria – naked, manacled and unconscious.

On September 12 Steve Biko died, in the words of Sydney Kentridge, “a miserable and lonely death on a mat on a stone floor in a prison cell”.

The minister of justice and the police, Jimmy Kruger, issued a statement that Biko had died from a hunger strike. Addressing a National Party Congress, Kruger proclaimed to laughter:“I am not saddened by Biko’s death and I am not mad. His death leaves me cold.” Kruger’s remark reverberated around the world.

Speaking at the first Steve Biko Memorial Lecture 23 years later, UCT Vice-Chancellor Njabulo Ndebele described this callous event as:

. . . a continuum of indescribable insensitivity that begins as soon as Steve Biko and Peter Jones are arrested at a roadblock near Grahamstown on 18 August 1977. It starts with lowly police officers who make the arrest in the relative secrecy of a remote setting and ends with a remarkable public flourish, when a minister of government declares that Biko’s death leaves him cold. This situation lets us deep into the ethical and moral condition of Afrikanerdom, which not only shaped apartheid, but also was itself deeply shaped by it.

Here is how Barney Pityana describes his friend’s last hours:

On the night of 11 September Biko, evidently a seriously ill patient, was driven to Pretoria, naked and manacled to the floor of a Land Rover. Eleven hours later he was carried into the hospital at Pretoria Central Prison and left on the floor of a cell. Several hours later he was given an intravenous drip by a newly qualified doctor who had no information about him other than that he was refusing to eat. Sometime during the night of 12 September Steve Biko died, unattended.

News of Steve’s death instantly reverberated around the world. While there had been deaths in detention before, no one thought that, in their savage madness, the security police would kill someone with the stature of Steve Biko.

- Xolela Mancu's Biko - A Biography is published by Tafelberg and can be ordered through Kalahari here.

  • pmalungana - 2012-09-20 10:31

    long live Biko

      willemdaniel.venter - 2012-09-20 13:16

      "I want to ask for the true records of the Quatro camp. I want someone to come and tell me why my brother was shot and put down like an animal, and so brutally disfigured so that his best of best friends could not recognize him. "Why do you cheat me of my brother's bones? Why do you think my contribution is worth nothing? Why do you think we risked our lives calling for your (the ANC leadership's) safe return?" Seremane, who was imprisoned on Robben Island, said "while the former government could provide documentation of my trial, the ANC could give me no record of my brother's trial and execution." How many deaths were there at Quatro? We will never know.. Quatro was only one of many ANC prison camps..

      simon.berry.925 - 2012-09-20 14:11

      What a sick bunch of racist police officers. Complete disregard for a great mans life. Those pigs should've been put down after that or at the very least, spend the rest of their lives in prison

      donovan.jackson.37 - 2012-09-21 04:48

      Who will write a book detailing the brutality of the murders of 4000 farmers since freedom? The very sort of thing Verwoerd, et al, were trying to prevent through separatism. Exceeds by far both the numbers and the brutality of deaths at the hands of the Security Forces.

      edward.d.beesley - 2012-09-21 08:01

      The biggest and most stupid mistake and crime committed by the Nationalist's, in my opinion. There is no doubt that he would've been President of this country, and would've certainly made a huge impact on uniting all of us.

  • siphiwom - 2012-09-20 10:36

    i am impresssed, keep it up the Biko Legecy must live on.

  • mmohale - 2012-09-20 10:36

    may his soul rest n peace! black always the suspect......

      leon.kotze2 - 2012-09-20 13:28

      That's not true.

  • issa.kabudula - 2012-09-20 11:07

    The man will be remembered by many - may the youth of Africa in particular South Africa buy n read in many libraries the stories of Bantu Steve Biko fearless man, courageous and who was born with vision may his soul rest in peace - and may Almighty forgive him of every little sin he might have done and be granted with top paradise palace - Ameeeeeen.

      UncleShep - 2012-09-20 11:44

      Janna Firdaws you mean?......

  • Zolile - 2012-09-20 11:22

    Now the DA wants us people to think that all of a sudden they are our friends and fighters and protectors of human rights, the whites are the first today to shout racism and criticising the present government for racism and corruption. Who ever thought DA would be marching for the so called interests of the masses of the country. Why were the likes of DA were quite during apartheid times, nowadays they even try to impress us by conversing in Nguni languages. Why they only do this now, I can't remember any whites during those dark days of apartheid rushing to speak Nguni on national television, except off course for the likes of the Juluka man.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-09-20 11:57

      The journalist, anti apartheid activist and black sash member Hellen Zille first reported on his cruel death in the late 70's. She was always fighting the NP rulers unlike ANC that joined some NP members in a unity Gov. in 1994.

      joe.mase.7 - 2012-09-20 12:29

      @Zolile - don't be so harsh on Helen Zille; you don't like her because she is a member of the DA and you don't like what the DA stands for. Well, that's ok. I don't like the DA either. Be that as it may; you have to give her credit for her stance; for exposing those dark events, in a way she was like Helen Joseph. we must not forget these events and these people.

      simon.berry.925 - 2012-09-20 14:18

      Zolile, Helen Zille was fighting for the rights you have today back in the 70's. Give the lady some respect. The DA did not kill Biko, racist pigs did it. Also you are showing ignorance by generalizing.

      magomarele - 2012-09-20 15:06

      Zolile, you're wrong about Hellen Zille. She's one of the best humane and kind politicians that this country has ever produced. Racist apartheid pigs like PW Botha and Verwoerd committed atrocities, not DA. DA has always been fighting for democracy and freedom for all. All I want is for the apartheid criminals to be caught and face music for their crimes. Hellen Zille was the journalist who exposed Steve Biko's death, risking her life and limb at those dark days of apartheid. Security forces even threatened to detain her for exposing their crimes.

  • - 2012-09-20 11:51

    Deeply saddened by this account and would love to read the book. I was barely 15 years old at the time, a young White, English-speakng girl in Std 10 at Westville Girls' High School.How cut off my life was from the reality of what was happening in our country.

      bond.ndalo - 2012-09-20 13:47

      Give Sandra a bells

      mpho.kgakwakandlovu - 2012-09-20 14:17

      This kind will survive the storm ahead. May God bless you Sandra

      chez.kri - 2012-09-20 16:00

      This great man's death marked a turning point in my (white) life. I was 13 years old and we had just got over the Soweto riots. Biko's death was only the 2nd negative thing against the govenment to make it to the press. It changed my life and the lives of a lot of my friends. His death had a way biiger impact on me than Mandela, as we didn't even know of Mandela's exsistence. Biko is my hero and his death was not in vain.

      rosiegracebrooks - 2012-09-20 21:11

      Also went to Westville. Scarred for life.

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-09-20 12:05

    I once asked a Zimbabwean friend of mine what he felt when he did his National Service in the (then) Rhosesian army in the 1970's. His response was, you protect what you have if you think the alternative is going to be worse... In South Africa, many South Africans felt then same in the 70's and 80's. And the ANC isn't proving us wrong. Rest in peace Biko. No one deserves to die the way you did.

      joe.mase.7 - 2012-09-20 12:51

      @Stefan - Interesting concept, very honest and true.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-20 13:16

      Like i said there will always be a justification for any evil commited by whites,that is the reason why the Muslims are bombing you people out of their country right now.

      riaan.mostert.58 - 2012-09-20 22:09

      lorain.maseko - And here I thought it was because they insulted a pedophile.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-21 07:55

      @ Riaan no not at all, it's because you people dont know when to stop with the imperialist attitude,that's why they bombing you.

      arshad.fakroodeen - 2012-09-21 10:51

      @riaan.mostert.58...Your comment regarding the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) smacks of insensitivity...u have the balls to say it here coz theres no is friday,if you feel so strongly, go to your nearest mosque and make those comments..?

  • charl.slabbert - 2012-09-20 12:07

    Guys, reading this, and being a South African, I am ashamed of our countries past and what happened not only to Steve Biko, but to all whites, blacks and other colours. Only us can heal the wounds and right the wrongs of our fathers so lets work on that. Lets learn from our mistakes and not let it get back to where it was.

      kaoma.kapompo.98 - 2012-09-20 14:59

      Hear, hear !!!

      neutedop.opinie - 2012-09-20 15:22

      I am with you. Wish we could wipe it, but it is there. Sad thing is, there is still some idiot people in the world who wants to convince me that Apartheid was not all that bad!Whish my dad did more to speak out against it.

      Kefilwe Mailula - 2013-07-29 02:45

      Thanx carl. I apreciate that. Don't worry in 100 years coming this place wil b a better place. For now we stil hav a long way to go bcos ther stil old pipol who were ther wen ol this ws hepening. They don c nothing rong abt wt hepened.this issue is stil fresh. Biko s family stil ther feeling pain.white farmers who their family are killed by blcks stil ther feeling pain. So everyone feel pain for their loved ones. I biliv with tym fo our grandkids this place wil b a better place. Fo now pipol stil healing wounds so it s kinda dificult. Someone want change n fogiv. But smone stil thinking wat he did was good.n he s not even apologising. He s sayin u too u burned my granpa to ashes.all biko wanted was peace. With us here I don c ani. Our grand kids wil get along. With a help of pipol like u and me who ll teach our kids abt love and peace.

  • joe.mase.7 - 2012-09-20 12:20

    How sad, if Mr Biko was alive today, SA politics would definitely be different. Murdered by Nazis. One point: Biko did not create Black Consciousness; Black Consciousness was created many years before; about 60 years before his untimely passing, he embraced it with pride and ensured that the Black Consciousness legacy continued. What a hero. I'm sure he must be disappointed with the current state of SA Politics.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-20 13:18

      Joe he crreated it for black people in SA,so as far as we are concerned he did create it,by embracing it at a time when white people where doing their utmost to convince black people that they are inferior.

  • bongile.langa - 2012-09-20 13:07

    Very detailed Biography indeed, we salute the spirit, courage, resilience and vision of our minds and hearts HE LIVES ON!

  • nobuhle.mhlamvu - 2012-09-20 14:04

    Your legacy lives on, we will always remember you . Rest in peace Steve Bantu Biko.

  • tshidiso.mokhosi - 2012-09-20 14:23

    Stories like this boils my blood...

  • ruanseprofile - 2012-09-20 14:49

    I feel so ashamed by what my predecessors did to the people of this country. Now, I have to pay the penalty for something I had no hand in. Clearly the wheel turns...

      upumba - 2012-09-20 15:25

      That it does Ruan. But in saying that i feel that any penatly placed upon you would be just unfair - we cannot expect to move forawrd if we are willing to sink to the levels of people who ruled during those time.

      irma.white.9 - 2012-09-20 16:50

      Ruan, why do you feel guilty? I don't feel any white guilt at all. Why should I feel guilty for something I had no part in? Mr. Biko died ten years before I was even born. All we can do is try and make THIS South Africa a better place for ALL of us.

      ruanseprofile - 2012-09-21 08:48

      @Happyness, I don't feel guilty, just ashamed. I totally agree with your last sentence.

  • magomarele - 2012-09-20 14:51

    The huge question I continue to ask myself is: Why are Steve Biko's killers still continue to roam our streets, earn government pension and enjoy our democracy which they didn’t support? As far as I’m concerned, these people committed serious atrocities against humanity and should have face death penalty, at the very least, life sentences. These people committed massive crimes during the time when death penalty was practiced in the country. Why was death penalty only reserved for freedom fighters like Solomon Mahlangu and criminals like Steve Biko’s killers never had to face it, let alone be charged? It’s easy to talk of reconciliation, but when one thinks about serious carnage that apartheid government carried out against other human beings, it’s hard to forgive those murderers. My anger is directed to those who were directly involved in committing the atrocities, not the innocent white people who never even knew that their apartheid regime is committing crimes against humanity. Which part of our country are Steve Biko’s killers live and why is government doing nothing to bring them to justice? I wish they face cruel and painful death, same way they killed Steve Biko. I wish they rot in hell. God has mercy, not me.

      nicolaas.vanschalkwyk.5 - 2012-09-20 19:07

      They are out for the same reason as your so-called freedom fighters who could do nothing more than blow up innocent civillians in bars.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-09-21 07:56

      Nicolaas there were no innocent whites at the time,too bad they didnt bomb more.

  • kaoma.kapompo.98 - 2012-09-20 14:53


      riaan.mostert.58 - 2012-09-20 22:11

      Eish, I'm shattered that it won't be forgatten.

      riaan.mostert.58 - 2012-09-20 22:11

      carl.lutzer.3 - Hey coward. If you want to act all macho, stop hiding behind a fake profile. chop

  • dieter.muller.942145 - 2012-09-20 15:26

    white farmers are murdered like this every day .... wake up SA!

      priyal.pillay - 2012-09-20 15:48

      What, white farmers brutalised by police while in detention??? I dont think so. What about the countless non white murders that go unreported on a daily basis. Cry me a river Dieter, you are not the victim...stop pretending

      dieter.muller.942145 - 2012-09-20 16:12

      also strange that news24 only reported on one of the murders ...

      dieter.muller.942145 - 2012-09-20 16:13

      priyal ... chow on your samoosa while reading this ... happened 2day ... brutal murder nr 10 in 12 days : DOMESTIC worker’s unease over the whereabouts of her employer led to police making the gruesome discovery of the body of a local advocate at her Scottsville home yesterday. Sixty-five-year-old Maria Susanna le Roux’s battered and decomposing body was found in the back yard of her Connaught Road house, near Comrades House. It is believed her body may have been burned, but this will be confirmed by a post-mortem. It is not known how long she had lain there.

      nicolaas.vanschalkwyk.5 - 2012-09-20 19:09

      Exactly my point dieter. People go on and say that farm murders are not because of race. But please tell me then why do you in majority of farm murders hear that nothing was taken and the farmers were tortured before they died. They are trying to systematically wipe us out.

  • huny.bunch1 - 2012-09-20 16:12

    This makes me Question why Mandela forgave the Whites at the time of Independence - and it makes me agree with Malema - Blacks needs to be empowered for the struggle that were fought by the likes of Biko was not an easy one

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-09-20 20:38

      You've got it all wrong. Whites forgave Mandela and let him out of prison. If he had been a guest of the state in any black state he would have left prison feet first shortly after sentencing. You should read history.

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-09-20 21:38

      Carl, I should have added, the old boy wouldn't have survived the ANC's own Quattro-death camp for long.

  • gavin.maartens - 2012-09-20 16:37

    I was 3 years old. As soon as I was old enough to understand what they had done to this beautiful man I felt sick to my stomach; I am just as sick and sad reading about it now. They killed our first black President, of that I am sure. Whitey.

  • vsmeets - 2012-09-20 16:51

    "In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift - a more human face." Steve Biko. He's the face that could have taught South Africa so much more.

  • russell.l.tait - 2012-09-20 17:04

    Please tell us in detail how each farmer was murdered....?

      sebenza.vanrooy - 2012-09-20 23:58

      russell, you find out you abused ninicampup

  • sisa.mtwana - 2012-09-20 17:07

    This what Bantu Biko said when he was alive, to me it's like he knew what is happening in the our country today and how we should change it. Just copy and paste Long live the spirit of Stive Biko.

  • imran.keeka - 2012-09-20 19:11

    Zolile below is someone who will refuse any reconciliatory process in this RSA and s/he will remain, like Verwoed, a person who prefers one race over another. To him and others like him: grow up. Also, it was Helen Zille who informed the world of this great man's demise. The DA does not does!

  • mzuvukile.maswana - 2012-09-20 23:54

    What an African! In the same league as Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. Died a horrible death for beleaving in himself and his fellow people. Wonder how it would have been if he was still alive.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-21 00:47

    The only thing more vile then Bantu Steve Biko's death,is the fact that we learnt nothing from it!!!pls try it again!

  • sakhele.ndabeni.7 - 2012-09-21 00:49

    Biko died but his spirit is in our mist...

      compos.mentis.58 - 2012-09-21 08:21

      midst ... young man... that spirit in die mist... eech bad thing... they make horror movies about that.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-21 00:56

    Those fn 'oosthuizens' are still around.I know a few in my local 'police' station,nd stil a bunch of cowards.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-21 01:17

    There is still a vast ignorant element in SA with an illusional vainity infested mentality ,that the shade of their skin 'divinely' gives them superiority over evry1 else.More commonly known as a 'dreamworld',and they are stuck there like they in an incurable coma.

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-21 11:44

      I love the 'thumbs downs' but especially in this 1,to get an this point nky 3??cmon,theres more...

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-21 11:44

      I love the 'thumbs downs' but especially in this 1,to get an this point only 3??cmon,theres more...

  • louiseroger.higham - 2012-09-21 06:32

    What a dreadfully sad story. Can't believe humans can be so cruel.

  • beki.khumalo - 2012-09-21 07:04

    It is still as painful, no matter how times this story is related to me. It breaks my heart, the cruelty that our people endured. All this because they were black!

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-09-21 11:46

      But our people are white now, aren't they?

  • ziggy.hofmeyr - 2012-09-21 07:13

    Buying the book after reading that. Apartheid police were satanic criminals man, along with their leaders.

  • beki.khumalo - 2012-09-21 07:29

    @Carl Lutzer, you are a sad soul! You defend apartheid! You defend the killing of Biko! You insult blacks and whites for being saddened by this tragic story. You have so much hatred in you, how do you live with yourself???

  • compos.mentis.58 - 2012-09-21 07:59

    If I read the comments by Kruger and I read the comments by today's politicians, it seems it was just the colour that changed.

  • monroek1 - 2012-09-21 08:14

    Anyway, all what I can say is : “What goes around always come around” ,justice will prevail eventually !! No being has ownership of the planet earth every being is just equal in every regard.

  • makhosonke.maseko.5 - 2012-09-21 08:19

    What's new, the apartheid killed Biko but ANC is killing South Africa. You can cry (why's) about Mr Biko but that won't change our current affairs until you vote with the future on this country in mind rather than the past. Time to be \Conscious\ of your vote.

      ernest.lwandle - 2012-10-11 04:08

      u talking cra''''p idiot

  • sinethemba.bryan - 2012-09-21 09:16

    I'll kill before i die ! Just like Biko Wrote what he likes! RIP son of the African soil.

  • Thobile Lugwadu - 2012-09-21 09:51

    Biko'killers will never get peaceful sleep

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-09-21 10:16

    These story opens de healed wounds,i so wish de thugs arnd where Biko s killlers live cn teach thm a lesson,am nt apologetic,this was inhumane,satanic,barbaric,i watched Cry Freedom in 1991 n was so touched by police brutality n tht traumatised me

  • dentamokhabz - 2012-09-21 11:25

    Apartheid you devil, how you robbed us the proud of the soil. Don't be proud.

  • khethani.nkabinde1 - 2012-09-21 11:25

    It is so painfull yet I am expected to forgive...

  • khethani.nkabinde1 - 2012-09-21 11:26

    It is so painfull yet I am expected to forgive...

  • ntsieni1 - 2012-09-21 12:22

    Rest in peace son of soil,,We still have a long way to go,economic freedom is what we need now,

  • - 2012-09-22 09:17

    Bond, why would I need a Bells- I assume you mean a whisky? I was simply expressing an honest truth: my horror and sadness at the suffering and death of Steve Biko as documented in the new book, (as a human being and as a mother and a committed Christian), and my reflection on the timeline aspect ie. that while this was happening to Biko, I was a teenager in a situation far removed from what was going on. I was however very aware of my parents' anxiety about the political situation. I'm not sure whether your comment is flippant or not, but I do find it a bit disrespectful of an honest comment. I don't drink actually-but maybe a glass of champagne would destress me and make me a little more hopeful about the future of MY fifteen-year-old daughter in this still-so-racially-polarised beautiful country of ours!! All the best to you, Bond.

      Qiqa Qikberry Sangotsha - 2013-07-20 03:09

      Sandra "Give that man a bells" is a term used to praise someone. He is basically saying big ups to you, jeeeez.

  • Mlahlwa Patrick Dasheka - 2013-03-28 12:15

    Was it nesesary for people to be totured like this?...may his soul rest in piece.he will always be remembered by his works

  • Andile Mashego - 2013-04-25 11:29

    I liked this story n ive gain more abt steve biko

  • Veewe Malhalha Gqirhana - 2013-07-31 18:06

    I will never forgive Biko's killers n even make peace on how they killed Him. How does one let go of these painful toture??? May his beautiful Soul rest in peace.... One love BS Biko

  • Tshepo Motsitsi - 2013-08-19 11:48

    Today we watch the country being raped! Isnt that pissing on the graves of those who fought for freedom?

  • Vukile Danster - 2013-08-23 19:23


  • Ifeanyi Nwaeboh - 2013-08-27 12:19

    The death of Steve Biko was a lonely apex of racist brutality in apartheid South Africa and the callous comment of then racist justice minister the icing on that tragic cake. Biko was to South Africa what Samson was to old Israelites. His death achieved more feat against the enemy than even his lifetime. What the racists tried to avoid by killing Biko they ignorantly ignited through his death. The spirit and legacy of Biko leaves on, greater than the abandoned apartheid legacy of his captors and nobler than the cheap pleading of his cowardly murderers for an amnesty that was denied. BRAVO BIKO. Dr. Ifeanyi Nwaeboh.

  • Thabo Boom - 2013-09-18 14:00

    how is so greet to hv icons like biko.he is one of the people that will not be forgoten in the history of south africa.if steve biko was leaving he whould be our prasidant this day.i salut him honern him for the life he give to us.thanks you my yr soul be at peace

  • Masixole Masixie Botya - 2013-09-25 23:27

    Steve biko was a very important people in my life i will never forgot u especially me coz im doing history