Monday, November 5, 2018

2018 - Deepavali Diwali Song - Manggala Oliveesum - Deepa Raagaa

THYNA SUBRAMONEY WINS THE LADIES SECTION OF THE 29TH MERCURY MILLION TOURNAMENT

(THE MERCURY PUBLISHED THIS PHOTO OF THE LADIES AND MENS' WINNERS OF THE 29TH MERCURY MILLION GOLF TOURNAMENT ON THE FRONT PAGE ON MONDAY, NOV 5 2018) A 66-year-old Durban woman golfer, who has been playing the sport for the past 18 years, won the ladies section of the 29th Mercury Million golf tournament at the Wild Coast resort during the Nov 2 and 3 (2018) weekend. Mrs Thyna Subramoney, who is a member of the Mount Edgecombe Golf Club, shot an overall total of 66 points during the two-day event. She scored 38 points on Sunday (Nov 3) and 28 points on Saturday (Nov 2) despite the severe howling winds and poor weather conditions. Her achievement follows a recent victory at a club tournament at Mount Edgecombe. “I am very excited because I have been playing in the Mercury Million for nearly 15 years and have not achieved the top prize before,” she said. “Although I won other prizes during the Mercury Million tournaments, I had not achieved the ultimate prize of being the sole winner of the ladies tournament.” Thyna Subramoney started playing golf in 2001 after she had more time on her hands early in 2 000.
(Thyna with Daya Naidoo and two other golfing colleagues at Mount Edgecombe) “All my children got married and left home and I had some time on my hands to take up golf.” She became a member at Mount Edgcombe as a novice and slowly picked up the finer points of the game. “I wanted to play golf because I was getting tired of just being a spectator when Subry went out every weekend to play the game. I told him that I had enough of being his caddy and that I now want to also play,” she said.
(Thyna with her golfing friends, Anjie Valjee, Daya Naidoo, Sam Valjee and Mara Naidoo during a golfing tournament at Champagne Sport) After attaining her first handicap she joined her journalist husband, Subry Govender, to play in tournaments all over KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg Gardens, Champagne Sport, and in Gauteng and Swaziland.
In October 2016 she achieved one of golf highest honours when she scored a hole-in-one at the Mount Edgecombe Golf Course. “It was one of my highlights of my playing career and now, winning the ladies section of the Mercury Million, is yet another exciting achievement.”
< (Thyna with her golfing friend, Anjie Valjee, and Subry Govender) She said her son, Kennedy Pregarsen Subramoney, and her twin grand-sons, Divarshan and Dasendran, who are 17-year-old, and her third grand-son, Darshan, are also avid golfers. “Our whole family are golfers and I hope one day that we will have top world professional golfers emerging from our family.” On Monday, Nov 5 (2018), Thyna Subramoney made the front page of The Mercury when the newspaper published a photo of the winners of the ladies and mens’ sections of the Mercury Million tournament. Ends – subrygovender@gmail.com (Nov 5 2018)

Monday, October 22, 2018

THE PLIGHT OF THE MARGINALISED

BIN PICKERS BY SUBRY GOVENDER
If you think life is becoming tough with the current trends in our economy, spare a thought for those who are living on the margins of our society. Early today (Oct 22 2018) while going on my usual walk alongside the road at a beach on the North Coast, I was taken aback by noticing some men digging into bins. The bins were placed by residents outside their houses for the municipal trucks to collect and cart them off to the municipal dumps. I was shocked that human beings were digging into the bins. I approached some of them who looked very pitiful and really downtrodden. I inquired what they were looking for in the bins? They were not only looking for empty tin cans but also other items that they could sell. Some of them even had collected some sandwiches they found in the bins.
One of the men, an old person who was dressed in very dirty long pants and shirt, said: “We have nothing to eat. We are looking for anything that we can sell and make some money.” The man, who looked as if he had not eaten for some days, said they all lived in squatter settlements and were struggling to make a living. Asked whether they don’t have children who could take care of them, he said: “They are also living in the jondolos and they don’t work.” Many cultural and social organisations are doing a lot to help these hapless people. It seems they cannot reach all the people on the side-lines of society.
Witnessing the “bin pickers” made me wonder whether all those politicians and their business friends, who are stealing billions of taxpayers’ money, ever spare a thought for the marginalised and the poor who live on the fringes of society? One sincerely hopes that these politicians and their business friends will take some time off from their busy corrupt schedules and visit those on the fringes of society. The poor and the marginalised must also be given opportunities to improve their lives socially and economically. They cannot be used only as cannon fodder during election time. ends - subrygovender@gmail.com

Sunday, October 21, 2018

PHOENIX – NORTH OF DURBAN – IS BEING TURNED INTO A SLUM BY THE NEW DEMOCRATIC MUNICIPALITY

(PARTS OF THE REDFERN SPORTS FIELD BEING DESTROYED BY THE LOCAL ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY)
(FILTH AND RUBBISH THAT ARE FOUND ALMOST EVERYWHERE ALONG EASTBURY DRIVE IN PHOENIX) October 21 2018 By Subry Govender
(FILTH AND RUBBISH FOUND ALMOST EVERYWHERE ON EASTBURY DRIVE) I was driving on the road alongside the railway line in Phoenix, Eastbury Drive, early today when I was once again taken aback and shocked at what greeted me. Large piles of rubbish, filth, and all kinds of unwanted material were dumped on both sides of the road at several spots. This is not the first time that this reckless destruction of the environment has engulfed this area and several other places in what is supposed to be the residential area of Phoenix. What is really going on? Is the municipality showing any concern for the environment in Phoenix and other residential areas inhabited mainly by those who are considered to be disadvantaged and marginalised?
(MR JOHN PILLAY OF THE "SAVE OUR REDFERN SPORTS FIELDS" STANDING ON THE SOCCER FIELD THAT IS BEING DESTROYED BY THE ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY) Then when I turned on the road leading to Unit 11, near the Ferndale school, I noticed a large piece of land, which used to be a playground for school children and a sports field for footballers and cricketers, being dug up and levelled by tractors and bulldozers. I don’t know what is going to be built on this piece of land but I was informed that houses are to be built here. Once again another playground and sports field is being torn apart and ripped away from the children of Phoenix. What are the children going to do after school hours if there are no sports field or playgrounds for them to fine tune their talents in soccer, cricket, and other sports? The capture of every piece of playground and sports field in Phoenix for the construction of houses will turn the residential area into a large slum. Is this what the new democratic municipality want to see? Why can’t the municipality build more houses in large tracts of vacant land that are found outside Phoenix?
(YOUNGSTERS WHO WANT TO PLAY SOCCER BEING DEPRIVED OF THEIR SPORTSFIELD BY CORRUPT MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS WHO ARE IN LEAGUE WITH UNSAVOURY ELELMENTS) It’s actions like these by the municipality is driving many young people into all kinds of anti-social activities such as drugs and alcohol. The lives of thousands of young people are being destroyed because it seems the municipality is adopting a don’t care attitude. It seems that the municipality want to see the destruction of the residential areas where people of colour live and eke out a livelihood. SAVE OUR REDFERN SPORTSFIELD
(Mr Johnny Pillay standing on ground that has already been excavated) I spoke to one of the community leaders and sports administrators, Mr John Pillay, at the sportsfield on Sunday, October 21 (2018). Mr Pillay and some of his colleagues have established the “Save Our Redfern Sportsfields” to highlight the destruction of their sports fields, playgrounds and open spaces. He told me that they only realised three weeks ago that their sports field was being destroyed for a housing development when they found that excavators were digging up and levelling the large sports field. “We took some pictures and established the ‘Save Our Redfern Sportsfield Committee’. We sent our objections to all the councillors, ministers, and the council because there have been no consultations. “This is the only sports field serving Redfern, Wet Fern and the children from Inanda, Bester, and other residential areas around us. “Previously during the FPL days, football clubs such as Berea, Tongaat Crusaders, and Manning Rangers used to use this ground. Our children used to join these clubs. “It was one of the most vibrant sports fields in Phoenix. But now the community is devastated with what is going on.”
(A SECTION OF THE REDFERN/FERNDALE SPORTSFIELD THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN RIPPED APART BY THE MUNICIPALITY) Mr Pillay said some councillors had responded to their concerns and had taken up the matter. “We have had some reaction from Councillor Samir who has been quite helpful. Councillor Stanley Moonsamy, about a year ago, showed us a document that placed a moratorium on building on sports fields. I tried to get hold of him but unfortunately he is not available at all. “We have had some discussions with George Mari and he has written to the Public Protector. My big worry is that this excavation is continuing and the destruction is continuing and continuing.” Mr Pillay said the destruction of sports fields was ongoing and it seemed that “the authorities just don’t care about us”. WE ARE BEING DESTROYED
(HUGE TRUCKS BEING USED TO DESTROY THE REDFERN/FERNDALE SPORTS FIELD) “The situation is serious. We are trying to meet with MEC Ravi Pillay but he has not yet responded to us. It seems this issue is not being taken seriously by the ruling party. We as a community are just being taken for granted. Our main concern is how did this happen, when did this happen, who was responsible and how did this happen without consultation taking place with the community of Redfern and greater people of Phoenix? “We in Redfern are very concerned about what is going on because this is of sentimental value to us. We are a united community with settlements around us. We want to create a community that is united and this field was one of the focal points of our unity. Now we are not only being betrayed but the future of our children is also being destroyed. “We are very concerned that at the rate this municipality is functioning our children will have no sports fields or open spaces to play. This ultimately will lead to the children resorting to all kinds of anti-social activities.”
(PART OF THE SPORTSFIELD ALREADY DUG UP) “TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY” While I was writing this article, I received a letter that Mr Bhana Morar wrote to the Public Protector about the soccer fields of Ferndale and Eastbury being destroyed for the enrichment of the wealthy elite. In an emotional plea, Mr Morar points out that the two soccer fields had been used for more than 40 years by the community of Phoenix. After outlining the history and struggles by the people for equality, Mr Morar called for an urgent investigation into the sale of the soccer fields to a construction company. He wrote: “This sporting facility is a thriving venue for the many residents in a Black township which cannot continuously be pushed from pillar to post to suit the rise of the corporate elite of Black Economic Empowerment ventures. “We urgently request your reputable office to investigate the sale of the recreational site (soccer fields) – Eastbury and Ferndale – , which has been in use for more than 40 years by the local community of Phoenix.” Mr Morar referred to the rich legacy of Curries Fountain and asked: “When will we start to create the likes of Paula and Seelan, Smiley Moosa, and Dharam Mohan if the primary building foundation of such soccer institutions are continuously being taken away from a deserving community?”
POLITICAL PARTIES AND THEIR COUNCILLORS MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CONTINUED DESTRUCTION OF PHOENIX
CORRUPTERS AND CORRUPTEES MUST BE ERADICATED The continued destruction of Phoenix raises the question of the role of councillors, municipal officials and the political parties that operate in the area. While some councillors may be trying to work with community leaders like Mr John Pillay but it seems that most of them are not active at all. Why are most of the officials not doing their job and highlighting the degeneration of Phoenix? Are they not concerned that this residential area is being turned into a large slum? These so-called officials politicians are being paid huge salaries. If they cannot work in the interests of the community at large then they must just find alternative ways to earn a living. You are not doing the people of Phoenix any favours. They must speak out and act against the social destruction of Phoenix or just get out!ends (subrygovender@gmail.com)
(MR JOHN PILLAY WITH SOME OF THE YOUNGSTERS WANTING TO PLAY SOCCER BUT THEIR ASPIRATIONS ARE BEING DASHED BY THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FERNDALE/REDFERN SOCCER FIELD)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

REMEMBERING OCTOBER 19 1977 WHEN THE APARTHEID REGIME CRACKED DOWN ON THE MEDIA AND JOURNALISTS IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONTINUE WITH THEIR REPRESSIVE AND OPPRESSIVE POLICIES

(UBJ members outside the hotel in Wentworth where they held their second annual meeting early in 1977. Some of the colleagues who I can recoginise are Charles Ngakula, Juby Mayet, Philip Mthimkulu, Thami Mazwai, Aggrey Klaaste, Mike Norton. I am also in the photo wearing a Union of Black Journalists t-shirt) October 19 2018 By Subry Govender At a time when most South Africans are expressing their concerns about the role of some journalists in our new democratic country, it is appropriate to recall the day 41 years ago when the former apartheid regime carried out the biggest and most extensive crackdown against the freedom of the press. In a latest development, the freedom of the media once again came under the spotlight when the Sunday Times newspaper on October 14 apologised for publishing stories that had affected the lives of some officials who worked for government institutions such as the Hawks and SARS. The editor, Bongani Siqoko, said “we committed mistakes and allowed ourselves to be manipulated by those with ulterior motivies” when the newspaper carried stories on the Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit, the South African Revenue Service(SARS), and the Zimbabwean renditions. The Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit, which was referred to as a “death squad” by the Sunday Times, led to the suspension of the leader of the squad, Major General Johan Booysen, and several other unit members. Several senior officials at SARS, including the former acting Commissioner, Ivan Pillay, were forced to leave SARS after the Sunday Times carried stories about them operatring a “rogue unit” when this was rejected by all the officials concerned. The development at the Sunday Times have taken place at a time when many journalists have to put up with the ulterior actions of politicians and others who want to “capture” the media for their own ends. The ruling ANC also attempted a few years ago to introduce measures to “capture” the media but this was abandoned following strong protests from journalists, media organisations and the public at large. WORLD AND WEEKEND WORLD Today, on October 19 2018, we recall one of the darkest days in South Africa’s journalism history 41 years ago when the country’s main black newspapers, World and Weekend World, were banned and ordered to cease publication along with Pro Veritate, a publication of the Christian Institute; and when editors and journalists were either banned, detained or interrogated and had their homes and offices raided and searched. The action against the media, ordered by the infamous Minister of Justice, Jimmy Kruger, was carried out in conjunction with the banning of 18 anti-apartheid interest groups, civic, student, religious and media organisations; and banning and detention of their leaders and officials. Kruger and the State President at that time, Dr Nico Diederichs, signed the banning proclamations. With the stroke of a pen, the state had removed two newspapers that had played a crucial role in keeping the people informed of the social, political and economical situation in the country at that time. PERCY QOBOZA AND AGGREY KLAASTE Mr Kruger just over a month earlier had described black consciousness leader, Steve Biko's death in detention as "It leaves me cold". The notorious security police or "special branch" of the time carried out systematic raids against journalists, newspaper offices and other publications in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban and other cities and towns around the country. In Johannesburg, security policemen arrested Mr Percy Qoboza, Editor of the World and Weekend World, at his offices at about mid-day, only a few minutes before he was due to hold a Press conference about the banning of his newspapers. He was taken to the then John Vorster Square police headquarters. Mr Qoboza was subequently issued with a five-year banning order. His deputy and news editor, Aggrey Klaaste, was also detained and locked up.
(Zwelike Sisulu, Juby Mayet and other colleagues taking part in a protest march in Johannesburg against the banning of the UBJ and other organisations on October 19 1977) PRO VERITATE The Editor of Pro Veritate, Cedric Maysom, was also detained and issued with a banning and restriction order. The security police in Johannesburg also carried out raids and searches at the homes and offices of other journalists and organisations such as the Union of Black Journalists(UBJ), which was one of the 18 organisations banned. They also arrested and detained a number of journalists, including Joe Thloloe, who was the chairman of the UBJ at that time. In East London, the security police raided the offices of the Daily Dispatch and served its editor, Donald Woods, with a five-year banning order; and searched homes of some of his reporters, including Miss Thenjiwe Mntintso who later skipped the country to go into exile because of harrassment and intimidation. In Durban, the security police raided and searched the homes of Dennis Pather, who later became editor of the Daily News; and this correspondent. I can clearly recall what happened when two white security policemen called at my former home at 30 Mimosa Road, Lotusville in Verulam in the unearthly hours of October 19. They did not inform me that their political bosses had banned the UBJ and 18 other organisations and also banned the World and Weekend World. They ransacked the house and confiscated papers and documents. When representations were subsequently made to Mr Kruger for the release of detained journalists, he unapologetically responded by saying that the detentions were not meant to intimidate the Press and that his Government had good reasons to detain the journalists. The clampdown against the media on October 19 1977 had a ironic twist two weeks later when it was reported that the Government was planning to print postage stamps to celebrate 150 years of Press Freedom in South Africa. RAY SWART A Durban lawyer who was national chairman of the then Progressive Federal Party, Ray Swart, launched a blistering attack against the National Party Government for talking of Press Freedom at a time when it was conducting one of the ruthless campaigns to suppress the media. In an interview on October 28 1977, Mr Swart, a strong critic of the apartheid regime, told me that he was impressed that the Government should want to commemorate Press Freedom but he would be more impressed if it gave greater indication of what it considered Press freedom to be. He had said: "It seems strange that they intend doing this after having just banning three newspapers, incarcerated one editor and banned another. I find it difficult to reconcile the actions of the Government. I suggest the stamps they intend issuing to commemorate Press freedom should have the faces of Mr Qoboza and Mr Woods." Of course the Government of the day did not take up Mr Swart's recommendation and despite his, the country and world-wide condemnations of the action against the newspapers, editors and journalists, the state continued with its clampdown and suppression of the media much more forcefully. But despite some of the most stringent regulations and harassment and intimidation of media practitioners over the next 13 years, most journalists never gave up and used October 19 to continue with the struggles for Press Freedom. They realised their dream of Press Freedom when the ANC and other organisations were unbanned and when Mr Nelson Mandela and other leaders were released in February 1990. Now, 41 years into our new South Africa and after enjoying true Press Freedom, our country is continually facing attempts by some opportunistic politicians and business people who want to “capture” the media and journalists for their own ends. The memory of October 19 1977 should ensure that we don't allow ourselves to follow the "Yaa Baas" route. ends - subrygovender@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

THE RE-OPENING OF THE INQUEST INTO THE BRUTAL MURDER OF DR HOOSEN HAFEJEE IN POLICE CUSTODY IN DURBAN 41 YEARS AGO IS LONG OVERDUE

THE SECURITY BRANCH OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS MURDER MUST BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE IF THEY ARE STILL ALIVE
Oct 2 2018 By Subry Govender When on August 3 1977 Dr Hoosen Hafejee, a dentist trained at the Nagpur University in India, was found dead at the Brighton Beach police station only four hours after being detained, I was at this time based at the Daily News at 85 Field Street in Durban. I received a call from his brother, Mr Yusuf Hafejee, who telephoned from his home town in Pietermaritzburg to inform me of the shocking death of his newly-trained doctor brother. I immediately informed my news editors, David James, about yet another shocking death in police custody. It was reported at that time that Dr Hafejee was the 41st person to have died under police custody since the early 1960s. Mr James advised me to obtain and check all the information regarding Dr Hafejee’s death. We published our first story on the same day on August 3 1977 and I continued to keep in contact with Mr Yusuf Hafejee for all the follow-ups. The security branch at that time were ruthless and even detained and interrogated Dr A D Gangat and his wife, Dr Fatima Sakoor, about their connections with Dr Hafejee and what they knew about him. Dr Gangat studied with Dr Hafejee at the Nagpur University and apparently Dr Hafejee had contacts with the ANC in exile.
Ten days after the death of Dr Hafejee, another local activist, Mr Bayempin Mzizi, was found hanging in a cell also at the Brighton Beach Police Station on August 13 1977. Mr Mzizi, who was 54-years-old, was found hanging from a bar of a cell window. A strip of his jacket had been torn off and was tied to the cell bars and made into a noose around his neck. After qualifying as a dentist in India in 1974, Dr Hafejee returned home in 1975. He started work at the King George V Hospital in Durban. Only four hours after being detained at the Brighton Beach police station, Dr Hafejee was found hanging from the leg of his trousers, which were attached to the cell door. He was found by the duty officer at 4am on August 3 1977. The tragedy was that the Chief State Pathologist who conducted the post-mortem, Professor L. Gordon, in his report stated that Dr Hafejee’s death was consistent with hanging.
Dr Hafejee’s brother, Yusuf, his parents and his siblings could not accept that their brother had taken his own life. Yusuf was confident that the security police had murdered his brother. Yusuf Hafejee disclosed that there were 68 abrasions and bruises on his brother’s body. These must have been inflicted by the security branch policemen who interrogated him.
Yusuf showed me colour photographs of his brother’s body which clearly distinguished the abrasions and bruises. In November 1977 Mr Yusuf Hafejee submitted a set of the colour photographs to Amnesty International in London to highlight the circumstances under which his brother had died. Amnesty International convened a press conference and its general secretary at that time, Mr Martin Ennals, called on the South African Government to order a thorough inquiry into the death of Dr Hafejee. Amnesty International also informed the family that it would make arrangements for a top Danish Pathologist, Dr Sigurd Riebur Albrectson, to come to South Africa in February 1977 to give evidence during the inquest hearing into Dr Hafejee’s death.
The family had initiated a law-suit in December 1977 to sue the then Minister of Justice, Jimmy Kruger, but this was dropped in June 1978 after Mr Yusuf Hafejee said the family had decided it would be a fruitless exercise. The family made the decision after they were advised that another hearing on the death of their brother would only prolong the agony of their aged parents.
But he insisted that they were sure that their brother was murdered by the security police. “I still want to emphasise that I still believe my brother would not have taken his own life. “He was a young professional and there was so much in life for him to live for. My family and I are convinced of this.” Now, 41 years later, after the new democratic Minister of Justice, Michael Masutha, had signed an order for the inquest into Dr Hafejee’s death in custody in re-opened, it is hoped that the truth will be finally known. Those responsible for his murder, if they are still alive, must be brought to justice and pay the full penalty. I have not spoken to Yusuf Hafejee for some time but I am certain that he would like to see those responsible for his brother’s death being brought to justice. Ends – subrygovender@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

REMEMBERING BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS LEADER - STEVEN BANTU BIKO

On September 12 2018, the South African Government, the Steve Biko Foundation, the Azanian Peoples Organisation(AZAPO) and the people at large paid tribute to the leader of the black consciousness movement, Steven Bantu Biko, who died 41 years ago after being tortured and brutally beaten by the former apartheid security police. Five years after Biko's death, the Press Trust of SA Third World News Agency, which was established in 1980 by struggle journalist Subry Govender, wrote and distributed the following article around the world on the 5th anniversary of the death of Steve Biko. The article was published on August 16 1982 at a time when Subry Govender was banned and house-arrested. 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF STEVE BIKO On September 12 1977 the majority of South Africans and the world at large were shocked into silence and disbelief when one of the brightest young black leaders met an untimely and gruesome death at the hands of the notorious apartheid security police. The young man in question was Steven Bantu Biko, the 30-year-old leader of the black consciousness movement. He died of head wounds and brain damage 25 days after being detained along with a fellow black consciounsess leader and close friend, Peter Jones, at a road block in the Eastern Cape on August 18 1977. Biko became the 43rd South African political detainee to die under mysterious circumstances while under police custody. Today, five years later, Biko still haunts the conscience of white South Africans and the government that was responsible for his brutal death. Black South Africans, on the other hand, remmber him as a martyr of the ongoing liberation struggle in South Africa. BPC AND SASO The Azanian Peoples Organisation(AZAPO), which replaced the Black Peoples Convention(BPC) and the South African Students Organisation (SASO) that were banned after Biko's death, has organised a series of events to mark the fifth anniversary of his death. The activities include "Biko week", which will be held from September 5 to September 12, and a play on the life and death of the late black consciousnes leader. LIBERATION UNITY MOVE At the time of his unfortunate death, Biko, who was the banned president of the BPC, was reportedly involved in moves inside the country to unify the forces of the African National Congress(ANC) and the Pan Africanist Congress(PAC) in an attempt to co-ordinate the struggles against white minority rule. It is understood that Biko and Jones were on this particular mission when they were stopped at a road block between King William's Town and East London and detained under the country's notorious security laws. But what was reported to be merely an arrest for breaking his banning orders turned out to be one of the saddest events in the history of the country. He was held in solitary confinement with no proper washing facilities at a cell at the headquarters of the security police in Port Elizabeth. And later kept naked, hand-cuffed and leg-shackled to the iron bars of his cell. On September 11 when he was found to be in a state of collapse in the cell he was transported, lying naked in the back of a landrover, to a Pretoria prison more than 1 200km away. This, the authorities said, was done out of compassion for Biko because the medical facilities in Pretoria were far better than those in Port Elizabeth. But the next day Steve Biko died a miserable and lonely death on a mat on the stone floor of the prison. Immediately after his death reverberated throughout South Africa and the world, the then South African Minister of Justice, Jummy Kruger, made small talk of the tragedy when he told a cheering meeting of the ruling National Party in the Transvaal that Biko had starved himself to death. JIMMY KRUGER – “IT LEAVES ME COLD” He echoed the callousness and satisfaction of the Pretoria apartheid regime when he said: "I am not sad, I am not glad, it leaves me cold." His callousness knew no bounds even when it transpired that Steve Biko died of brain injuries. Kruger's response was typical: "A man can damage his brain in many ways." He went onto imply suicide by saying: "I don't know if they were self-inflicted. But I often think of banging my own head against a wall." Even the security police in charge of Steve Biko at the time of his death, a Colonel Goosen, tried to absolve himself and his men from any blame by saying that he had taken all measures to ensure the safe-keeping of detainees, and to make sure that they did not escape or injure themselves. But in trying to find excuses, he made a gigantic slip that really landed him in the soup. SECURITY POLICE – “ASSAULTING TEAM” He said: "I am proud that during Biko's interogation , no assault charges had ever been laid against my ASSAULTING TEAM." He later changed the phrase to "interrogating team". But the truth of the matter was that Steve Biko died of at least five brain lessions caused by the application of external force to his head. The official inquest into Biko's death, however, found that no one was responsible and cleared the security policemen of any blame. Five years later, while black South Africans again remember Biko, it was worth recounting the short life of the man who was chiefly responsible for conscientising and politicising the young people during the 1970s. Biko was born to humble parents in the small town of Ginsberg in the Eastern Cape where he completed his early schooling and his matriculation. He proceeded to Durban to do a doctor's degree at the University of Natal Black Medical School where he soon became involved in the activities of the multi-racial National Union of South African Students (NUSAS). “COLONIALISM AND IMPERIALISM” But his association with NUSAS led to disillusionment when he and his friends found that the "black man" could never gain liberation by joining the debating chambers of white-controlled organisations. It was against this background that Biko and his colleagues established the South African Students Organisation(SAS0) and later the Black Peoples' Convention(BPC) to cater for non-students working outside the apartheid system. Biko set the two organisations on their course when he outlined the philosophy of black consciousness by saying that blacks had to shake off all forms of colonialism and imperialism - cultural, economical and psychological - in order to win physical freedom. But his leadership was shortlived. The Pretoria authorities, sensing that he was a force to be reckoned with, slapped him with a five-year banning order in 1974 and restricted him to his home district of King William's Town. BIKO – CHARISMATIC AND VOCIFEROUS Despite the restrictions and security police harrassment, Biko continued to harness the thinking of the young people and to be in the forefront of international spotlight. He was such a charismatic and vociferous opponent of apartheid that scores of diplomats and international personalities used to literally search him out in the backdrop of Ginsberg for his views. Therefore, when his death came suddenly and cruelly on September 12 1977, black South Africa and the world cried "murder" at the Pretoria authorities. To their shock and amazement the official inquest into his death found that no one was responsible and the security policemen who were responsible for his detention were cleared of all blame. BIKO – THE MARTYR WAS BORN A leader who succeeded in bringing about a "fresh revolution" and who had out-manouvred an almost Nazi-system, is no more but his actions and ideals still live on in new organisations and projects. And they will certainly not disappear. For when Biko the man died on September 12 1977, Biko the martyr was born. - ends (Press Trust of South Africa Third World News Agency – August 16 1982)