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Stephen Bantu Biko

Birthdate:
Birthplace: King William's Town, Eastern Cape,South Africa.
Death: Died in Pretoria Prison, South Africa
Cause of death: Died after being tortured by apartheid policemen In Port Elizabeth
Place of Burial: King William's Town Cemetery, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Mzingayi Mathew and Alice
Husband of Ntsiki Biko
Partner of Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Lorraine Tabane
Father of Nkosinathi Biko; Samora Biko; Lerato Biko; Hlumelo Biko and Motlatsi Tabane / Biko?
Brother of Bukelwa Biko; Khaya Biko and Nobandile Biko

Managed by: Sharon Doubell
Last Updated:

About Stephen Bantu Biko

"On 18 August 1977, Biko was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967 and interrogated by officers of the Port Elizabeth security police including Harold Snyman and Gideon Nieuwoudt. This interrogation took place in the Police Room 619 of the Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth. The interrogation lasted twenty-two hours and included torture and beatings resulting in a coma. He suffered a major head injury while in police custody at the Walmer Police Station, in a suburb of Port Elizabeth, and was chained to a window grille for a day.

On 11 September 1977, police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked and restrained in manacles, and began the 1100 km drive to Pretoria to take him to a prison with hospital facilities. He was nearly dead owing to the previous injuries. He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September.

The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike, but an autopsy revealed multiple bruises and abrasions and that he ultimately succumbed to a brain hemorrhage from the massive injuries to the head, which many saw as strong evidence that he had been brutally clubbed by his captors. Then Donald Woods, a journalist, editor and close friend of Biko's, along with Helen Zille, later leader of the Democratic Alliance political party, exposed the truth behind Biko's death. Wikipedia"

Text of Times Article

Biko

September '77

Port Elizabeth weather fine

It was business as usual

In police room 619

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja

-The man is dead

When I try to sleep at night

I can only dream in red

The outside world is black and white

With only one colour dead

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja

-The man is dead

You can blow out a candle

But you can't blow out a fire

Once the flames begin to catch

The wind will blow it higher

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja

-The man is dead

And the eyes of the world are

watching now

watching now

view all

Steve Biko's Timeline

1946
December 18, 1946
King William's Town, Eastern Cape,South Africa.
1971
May 1971
Age 24
Port Elizabeth, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa
1974
1974
Age 27
1977
September 12, 1977
Age 30
Pretoria Prison, South Africa
1978
May 1978
Age 30
1978
Age 30
????
????
????
King William's Town Cemetery, Eastern Cape, South Africa