The Black Consciousness Movement called on President Jacob Zuma to stop misrepresenting the values of black people during a commemorative visit yesterday to the prison cell at Kgosi Mampuru II Prison where struggle hero Steve Biko died.
On the anniversary of the death of the Black Consciousness founder leader, who died on September 12 1977, the Socialist Party of Azania, the Black Consciousness Party, the Blackhouse Kollective and Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) gathered at the prison to pay tribute to the fallen hero, saying Biko would be unsettled by the current state of the country.
“This message is for Zuma and his leadership: As the Black Consciousness Movement, we will not rest until our people are free. The oppression of our people at this point in time is not by white people, but by black people,” said Azapo president Professor Itumeleng Mosala.
“This is a surreal moment when black people have to fight for service delivery from a government led by a former liberation movement.”
He said Zuma’s leadership was oppressing and exploiting black people, referring to the constant corruption allegations.
“Every time a black person gets involved in corruption, they do so in the name of black people. Stop denying our people access to land because every time a black president does this, they do so in the name of black people. We are tired of blaming white people for the things black people do to black people,” Mosala said.
Wreaths were laid in the small prison cell while guests sang songs in remembrance of Biko. On August 18 1977, Biko was arrested and, for 22 hours, was interrogated and tortured by the Port Elizabeth security police.
On September 11, he was beaten and went into a coma. He was loaded naked into the back of a Land Rover and driven to a Pretoria prison with hospital facilities.
He died from a brain haemorrhage shortly after arriving at the facility.