Steve Biko's life in 12 key dates

Steve Biko's life in 12 key dates

September 12, the day on which South Africans remember the 'Father of the Black Consciousness Movement'.

Steve Biko
SA History Online

Below are 12 key dates in the life of Steve Biko, who was killed by the apartheid government 40 years ago. He died in detention on the 12th of September 1977.

1. 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 secondary school.

2. 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.

3. 1966 -Age 19

Attends the University of Natal (Non-European section) at Wentworth as a medical student.

4. 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).

5. 1972 -Age 25

Helps form and works for Black Community Programmes (BCP) and the university discontinues his medical studies.

6. 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.

7. 1974 -Age 27

Arrested and discharged a number of times. On occasions charged and acquitted.

8. 1975 -Age 28

Founds Zimele Trust Fund and Ginsberg Educational Trust. Is detained and held for 137 days without charge or trial.

9. 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.

10. 1977 -Age 30

Arrested in March, detained and then released. Arrested again in July, charged, acquitted. Arrested again on the 18 August.

11. 1977 12 September

Biko is killed, dies in police detention

25 September


12. 1977 14 November to 2 December

Inquest into his death.

WATCH:  Steve Biko speaks on The Black Consciousness Movement

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