Biography of the Week: Bantu Stephen Biko

Bantu Stephen Biko was born in Tilden on the 18th December 1946. In 1968, he and his colleagues founded the South African Students' Organisation (SASO) and Biko was elected its first President. SASO's primary engagement was to address the inferiority complex that was the mainstay of passiveness within the ranks of Black students. Biko’s political activities resulted in his banning in March of 1973. He was restricted to King Williams’ Town where he set up a Black Community Programmes (BCP) office and amongst other achievements built Zanempilo Clinic and the Ginsberg Crèche. He was arrested near Grahamstown on 18 August 1977. During torture at the Security Branch headquarters in the Sanlam building (Port Elizabeth) he sustained massive brain haemorrhage. On 11 September he was transported naked, without medical escort, to Pretoria – a twelve-hour journey - in the back of a police Land Rover. He died on the floor of an empty cell in the Central Prison on the 12 September and thus became officially the 46th victim of torture under the State Security Laws.

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