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King Williams Town

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.