12 September

'September '77 _ Port Elizabeth weather fine _ It was business as usual _ In police room 619' _ Peter Gabriel, Biko
September 2009

'Biko's death leaves me cold', said South African Minister of Police, Jimmy Kruger, today 1977, on hearing of Steve Biko's death while held in the custody by the South African police. The government claimed that Biko's death was caused by a hunger-strike However, the official autopsy concluded that it was due to a brain lesion caused by the 'application of force to the head'.



Now we who witnessed the greatness


Sing and dance to his legacy,


We who muse his intelligence


Spread the good news in Reggae, Soul, Marabi


And the theatre of liberation,


Knowing that nobody dies until they're forgotten


We chant Biko today


Biko tomorrow


Biko forever.



Wickedness tried to kill greatness


Now wickedness is dead


And greatness lives


In Islington


As he lives in Cape Town.

Benjamin Zephaniah, Biko the Greatness






Comments are now closed on this article.






Red Pepper · 44-48 Shepherdess Walk, London N1 7JP · +44 (0)20 7324 5068 · office[at]redpepper.org.uk
Advertise · Press · Donate
For subscriptions enquiries please email subs@redpepper.org.uk