SAfrica’s slain Steve Biko comes alive via Google

October 10, 2012 6:05 pm


Voters queue to cast votes in the first democratic elections in Kwazulu Natal on April 27, 1994/COURTESY
JOHANNESBURG, Oct 10 – A series of previously unseen images of South Africa’s black consciousness hero Steve Biko were published by Google on Wednesday, 35 years after his death in police custody.

Titled, “Steve Biko: The Early Years,” the exhibition – available via – provides a never-before-seen glimpse into the life of the revered leader who died at the age of 30 in September 1977.

It shows intimate material about the anti-apartheid giant’s early years, ranging from school reports, testimonials from comrades and portraits of friends and family.

During his lifetime Biko’s story remained a mystery to most South Africans, thanks to a ban on his book “I Write What I Like,” and even T-shirts bearing his image.

His death at the hands of the police prompted a wave of national and international outcry and highlighted the brutality of the apartheid regime.

After South Africa’s transition to democracy in 1994, the policemen implicated in Biko’s death applied for amnesty to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Biko is the second South African icon whose personal archives have been digitised by Google, after Nelson Mandela, whose personal archives came online earlier this year.


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