I've said it before and I'm saying it again - I think that Steve Biko is going to be an extremely influential figure in the 'new' South Africa. While he has been, and is, an icon of Black Consciousness, what he stood for was far more fundamental than skin colour politics. He had a deep sense of justice - which in his context was enraged by the demeaning and dehumanising of black people. We are mistaken if we believe that he only stood for black rights - he stood for justice and for human rights. And he didn't just talk - he stood for them - political oratory is one thing, being willing to die for your beliefs about justice is quite another.
Rebecca Davis writing for the Daily Maverick reports on the recent annual Steve Biko memorial lectures and I quote part of what she has to say about Sydney Kentridge's (Biko's lawyer) address:
And despite Kentridge’s efforts, the inquest's verdict found nobody was to blame for Biko’s death.
The reason for the sham verdict, Kentridge reminded us, was that the
independence of the apartheid judiciary was undermined by biased judges
appointed by the state. At this point there was an almost audible intake
of breath from the audience seemingly putting two and two together
about recent events around the appointment of the Chief Justice.
Read the whole article to get it in context here.