Steve Biko’s TimeLine
September 12th, 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the murder of Bantu Stephen Biko in police detention. Steve Biko, who was born on December 18th, 1946, would have been 70th today.
1946 18 December
Bantu Steve Biko is born in Tylden. He is brought up in Ginsberg, King Williams Town and he attends the Charles Morgan Primary School and Forbes Grant
1961 Age 15
He joins his elder brother Khaya at Lovedale and is expelled because of his brother’s political activities. He moves on to attend St. Francis College in Marianhill in what was Natal.
1966 Age 19
Attends the University of Natal (Non-European section) at Wentworth as a medical student.
1969 Age 22
Forms the South Africa Student’s Organisation (SASO) and is elected as its first president. Also forms the Black People’s Convention (BPC).
1972 Age 25
Helps form and works for Black Community Programmes (BCP) and the university discontinues his medical studies.
1973 Age 26
Banned and restricted to King William’s Town for five years. Not allowed to work for any political organizations, not allowed to be published or quoted.
1974 Age 27
Arrested and discharged a number of times. On occasions charged and acquitted.
1975 Age 28
Founds Zimele Trust Fund and Ginsberg Educational Trust. Is detained and held for 137 days without charge or trial.
1976 Age 29
Elected as Honorary President of BPC. Subpoenaed to give testimony in the SASO-BPC trial. Detained in solitary confinement for 101 days.
1977 Age 30
Arrested in March, detained and then released. Arrested again in July, charged, acquitted. Arrested again on the 18 August.
1977 18 August
At Walmer Police Station Biko is kept naked and manacled for 20 days before being transferred to the notorious Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth.
1977 06 September
Biko sustains a massive brain haemorrhage resulting from brain injury. He was beaten up by no less than five policemen. After suffering a brain injury, he was still kept in standing position.
1977 07 September
Police call in Dr Lang. Dr Lang finds “nothing wrong” with Biko, despite his badly swollen face, hands and feet. Instead, Dr Lang alleges that Biko is “shamming”. Dr Tucker is called for his opinion. He suggests Biko be taken to hospital.
1977 10 September
Biko’s condition has deteriorated alarmingly. Dr Lang recommends he be driven 700 kilometers tot the prison hospital in Pretoria.
1977 11 September
Biko is put in the back of a Land Rover naked and menacled. He is driven for more than twelve hours from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria.
1977 12 September
Steve Biko died, naked on a mat on a stone floor in a prison cell. The minister of justice and police, Jimmy Kruger, claimed Biko had died of a hunger strike. Kruger proclaimed to laughter: “I am not saddened by Biko’s death and I am not mad. His death leaves me cold”.
1977 25 September
Funeral was held at the Victoria Stadium in King William’s Town. Buried at the Garden of Remembrance.
14 November – 02 December
Inquest into his death