Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance - Memorial to a Freedom Fighter

The Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance was created in honor of a man that died for his freedom and became one of South Africa’s most celebrated political martyrs. The Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance also stands as a lasting monument to all his comrades who lost their lives during the political struggle against apartheid.

Steve Biko was born on 18 December 1946 and was raised in King Williams Town, at No 698, Leightonville, Ginsberg Township, which has recently also been declared a national monument. In 1966 Steve Biko registered at the Black Section of the Medical School of the University of Natal. In 1968, Biko and his colleagues founded the South African Students Organization (SASO), of which he was elected the first President of the organization. Using his writing skills, he increased Black Consciousness within and outside the walls of the campus. His views and organization became increasingly popular due to the fear that the liberation movement was faltering, as most ANC supporters and leaders were jailed. With the amalgamation of various groups, the BPC (Black Peoples Convention) was founded in July 1972 and inaugurated within the same year.

In March 1973, Steve Biko was banned and restricted to his hometown, of King Williams Town. He was not allowed to promote Black Consciousness in any form, vocally or in writing. He was frequently harassed and detained by the police. On 18 August 1977, Steve Biko and his good friend and collegue, Peter Cyril Jones, were returning from Cape Town, despite the ban, and were arrested under the terrorism act. Both men were detained for 26 days, and were savagely beaten and tortured at the Security Division in Port Elizabeth. During a severe beating on 7 September 1977, Steve Biko suffered a massive brain hemorrhage, and due to being unresponsive, police doctors urged he be taken to hospital for treatment. But on 11 September 1977, Steve Biko was thrown naked into the back of a police vehicle, and traveled the 12 hour journey to the Central Prison of Pretoria, without medical care or escort.

Alone in his cell, Steve Biko died on 12 September 1977, at the young age of 30. He was buried in Ginsburg Cemetery on 25 September 1977.

 





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