SABC News - Zuma invokes Bikos legacy:Tuesday 12 September 2017

Zuma invokes Biko's legacy

Tuesday 12 September 2017 20:03

Mzwandile Mbeje

President Zuma laid a wreath at the cell at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria where Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko died.

President Zuma laid a wreath at the cell at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria where Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko died. (SABC)

President Jacob Zuma says economic transformation remains a critical tool to fast track the process of improving socio-economic conditions of the poor and vulnerable. 

The President said this after laying a wreath at the cell at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison in Pretoria where Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko died 40 years ago.  

This as the world joins South Africa to mark Biko's 40th death anniversary.

Regarded as a foremost intellectual and anti-Apartheid struggle activist, Steve Biko died on this day four decades ago whilst in police detention.

His brutal death caused outrage in the country and across the world after the apartheid security forces were blamed for torturing and killing him. At the time, he sustained serious injuries including brain damage.  

Addressing the media after taking a short tour of Biko's detention cell at the Kgosi Mampuru maximum prison in Pretoria, President Zuma recalled how Biko was admired by his peers as a fiery black consciousness movement student activist.

"I remember meeting Mzala Nxumalo and when he spoke about Biko you could see how Biko penetrated the minds of young people and students and made them to fight and die for their freedom.  He was prepared to die for the freedom.  He is a hero to remember together with other heroes who fought for our freedom."

Biko was transported from PE to Pretoria in the back of a van. Laying a wreath in his honour President Zuma said Biko's ideals live on. The President said the young generation needs to honour his ideals by advocating for social justice and fair distribution of economic resources.

Biko has several monuments named after him throughout the country because of his contribution to the liberation struggle.

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