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DUT: Steve Biko Memorial Lecture and Unveiling of a Bronze Bust of Biko

DUT: Steve Biko Memorial Lecture and Unveiling of a Bronze Bust of Biko


Date: Wednesday 19 September 2007
Time: 11h30
Venue: Lecture Theatre LC 002, above the Library.
Unveiling: in front of Library Steve Biko Campus

September 2007 marks the 30 anniversary of the killing of Steve Biko by Apartheid South Africa’s notorious Security Police. Biko and Peter Jones were arrested at a roadblock outside Port Elizabeth and held in the Samlaam Centre security headquarters in Port Elizabeth in September 1977. There, Biko was tortured by his interrogators, suffering brain damage in the process. When he was unconscious, they drove him in the back of a police vehicle, naked and manacled, over 1 200km to Pretoria. Shortly after he was admitted to prison there, Biko died on the cell floor as a consequence of the savage beatings. He was just 30 years old. To date, none of his torturers have been held accountable. Why was he not put into hospital in Port Elizabeth? A host of questions persist.

While we draw attention to the senseless killing, we are going to celebrate the life of Steve Biko and remember this brilliant young man, who gave his life so that we could live in freedom. Biko remains one of the giants of the South African liberation struggle. Nelson Mandela believes that what Biko achieved in his short life, most people would require a whole lifetime to achieve.

Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) must take much of the credit for re-igniting the people’s struggle after it was almost extinguished at Sharpeville, followed by the banning of the ANC and the PAC accompanied by the brutal repression of the 1960s. The success of the BCM was based on the breaking of the psychological shackles that Apartheid had so successfully placed on the minds of the oppressed. It affirmed the pride, humanity and cultures of all Black South Africans, directly challenging the fundamentals of Apartheid that used all its resources to negate the humanity of persons of colour.

Professor Itumeleng Mosala, former Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture will deliver the Steve Biko Memorial Lecture on Wednesday 19 September 2007 at 11.30 am and this will be followed by the unveiling of a large bronze bust of Biko, over looking the University’s Freedom Square. The unveiling will be done by the Biko family and Prof Mosala.

The public is invited to attend. Secure parking is available on the Ritson Campus, opposite Curries Fountain/Sastri College.For further comment, kindly contact Mr PR Dullay:
Tel. (w) 031-373 2348
Fax: 031-373 2090
Cell: 084 4461218

Issued by:
Raylene Captain Hasthibeer
Manager: Communications
Public Affairs and Communications
The Durban University of Technology
Tel: 031 373 2899