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 Stephen Biko

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Stephen Biko
Martin Luther King Jr.

 

He wasn’t the devil, as they made him out to be,

He was a man, just like you and me,

Yet he suffered immense pain, and deadly injuries,

To insure no others would have to see,

The horror he saw before he ceased to breathe.

 

God Bless Stephen Biko            -Steve Shep

He dared to protest against the all white South African Government in 1977

15,000 people attended his funeral

 

Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere

Stephen Bantu (Steve) Biko

Founder and martyr of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa

Newsweek Magazine: "Steven Biko sat naked in a prison cell and waited for nineteen days. When his captors were ready to interrogate him, they chained him in a chair for two days. Freed briefly, he somehow scuffled with the police and probably suffered severe head injuries. Biko's speech was incoherent and his breathing shallow when he was returned to his cell, and he lapsed into a coma that the police shrugged off as a feigned illness. He could not eat, but that was interpreted as a hunger strike, and prison doctors repeatedly failed to diagnose his brain damage. Finally Biko was put naked into the back of a Land-Rover and driven 800 miles from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria, allegedly for medical treatment. But the next day, the 30-year-old leader of South Africa's 'black consciousness' movement dies alone on the floor of his cell."

The U.S. wasn't able to save Stephen Biko, but we were able to help Nelson Mandela.  And so many more who followed in their footsteps who were spared the brutality that faced those opposed to the South African Government.  I sense the same mentality in South Africa at that time may have been similar to the oppression for which early Americans left England in search of a better country.  Even from its inception America did not practice terroristic behavior to achieve its dreams and goals - in our case early settlers left England in search of a better place, a place where we could live our dreams in a society that allowed each and every human being to try and achieve their personal dreams.  It is the foundation from which America was built upon.  So for those against US Policy, convey your feelings in a means Americans can understand and relate to - not by killing her women, children and other innocents.  You can just look at the American TV Show Saturday Night Live each week to see that we poke fun at ourselves and our government.  In America you are not supposed to be brutalized for protesting peacefully against something you disagree with.  And so Americans are able to peacefully achieve change for the greater good of all Americans. 

South African officers confess to killing Stephen Biko

January 28, 1997

South Africa (CNN) -- Former South African security officers have confessed to killing anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, according to a statement released Tuesday by the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"Applications have been filed by a number of former security policemen who have indicated they are applying for amnesty in respect of charges of assault and culpable homicide," the statement said. "Members of the former security branch acknowledge responsibility for assaults on Steve Bantu Biko ... in September 1977 ... and the killing of Mr. Biko."

The commission said five former security officers filed applications for amnesty after investigations implicated them in Biko's death. Security policemen have also applied for amnesty in connection with the cases of nine other anti-apartheid activists, including a group killed in 1985 and others from the Eastern Cape province.

The statement contained no further details, but called the findings "a major breakthrough."

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been charged with investigating crimes committed during South Africa's long apartheid era.

Birth:    Dec. 12, 1946
Death:   Sep. 12, 1977


2006 Catch A Fire Movie Captures What Life in South Africa was like in the 1980's for one Man and his Family

In Theaters October 2006 - It is a True Story

Now available on DVD, I finally saw this movie and had forgotten it was a true story until it stated so at the end of the movie.  Very good movie, although I don't think they properly emphasized the amount of violence actually committed by the South African Government.  Very well done, worth taking the time to watch.

 


 

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