Steve Biko's son charged with assaulting woman‚ 27

Hlumelo Biko with his lawyer, Roy Barends, outside Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Hlumelo Biko with his lawyer, Roy Barends, outside Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Image: Philani Nombembe

The son of anti-apartheid icons Steve Biko and Mamphele Ramphele has denied assaulting a woman close to him on New Year’s Day.

Hlumelo Biko‚ who turns 40 this month‚ appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on assault charges on Thursday. He was not asked to plead and the matter was postponed to February 27 for further investigation.

The businessman‚ who was dressed in an open-necked shirt‚ dark jacket and jeans‚ was released on a warning.

Outside court‚ his lawyer Roy Barends said Biko would plead not guilty. “He vehemently denies committing any offence‚” said Barends. “We will deal with those allegations when that time arrives.”

Asked how Biko was dealing with the negative spotlight‚ Barends said: “My client is doing very well.”

Western Cape police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk told TimesLive on Wednesday that “a 27-year complainant opened a case of assault” on New Year’s Day.

Van Wyk said the investigation officer “met with the suspect and his legal representative” on Wednesday. “The suspect was charged and warned to appear in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.”

Ramphele was five months pregnant with her son in 1977 when she learned that Steve Biko‚ with whom she was having an affair‚ had been killed in police custody. She named the baby Hlumelo because it means “the shoot of a tree” in Xhosa.

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