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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Sopa wants 'Biko cell' declared a monument

By unknown | Sep 12, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

The Socialist Party of Azania wants the cell at Pretoria Central Prison in which black consciousness leader Steve Bantu Biko was held before he died to be declared a national monument.

General secretary Victor Moeleso said the Sopa leadership would visit the cell to lay a wreath and pay tribute to Biko, who inspired many through his black consciousness philosophy.

Biko was transported - handcuffed and naked in the back of a police van from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria, where he was again tortured.

"We call on the government to declare the cell a national shrine. They should stop using it to incarcerate ordinary criminals. Biko was not just an ordinary man but the epitome of our struggle. We are going to the cell not only to remind ourselves of the horrors of apartheid but to draw strength from one man - Steve Bantu Biko."

Sopa believes that Biko was the "resonant and triumphant voice of our revolution".

"We have invited Minister of Correctional Services Ngconde Balfour to receive a memorandum. Sopa president Lybon Mabasa will lead the proceedings," said Moeleso.

The 31st anniversary of Biko's death comes when the BC movement is trying to form one party.

If Sopa's call to turn the cell into a shrine is accepted, it will be in addition to many other honours that the present government has bestowed on Biko over the past few years.


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