STEVE BIKO LECTURE CELEBRATES FALLEN HEROES
Written by: Ndumiso Nxumalo
The South African Students Congress (SASCO) Durban branch hosted a lecture on Steve Biko’s role in students politics at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Steve Biko Campus, last night.
Biko was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s to 1970s, and also a student leader.The lecture was aimed at educating students about the late activist and his role in the development of a democratic South Africa.
The former Provincial Secretary of SASCO, Pinda Mofokeng described Biko as a hero who created the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM).
“The 1976 uprising in Soweto was not the undertaking of the African National Congress (ANC) because the ANC was in exile at that time and it saddens me, that people say that the ANC played a role in the uprising. Biko led the uprising!” said Mofokeng.
“Even though after so many years after the uprising, and 22 years now into democracy, the ANC hasn’t done anything. We still pay for our education and white people still hold powerful positions in this institution,” added Mofokeng.
The year 2016 marks 40 years after the Soweto Uprising that saw a series of protests led by high school students in Soweto, fighting against the Afrikaans being the medium of instruction in schools. Decades later, 16 June is celebrated as Youth Day.
The National Working Committee member Zamile Gwala said that DUT students are privileged as their main campus is named after a great leader.
“From this institution, I believe that students should honour walking past a statue of a great leader and must be motivated and be inspired to be great leaders of tomorrow,” said Gwala.
DUT Horticulture student, Nhlanhla Ngcobo said that the lecture taught him so many things that he did not know about Biko.
“I wish that there were more students attending this lecture because it was educational and it taught me lots of things about the work that Steve Biko did for us to have the education that we now have today,” said Ngcobo.
The SASCO Durban branch promised to celebrate this year’s Youth Day by educating the youth about struggle heroes as opposed to wearing a school uniform on the day, which appears to be a current trend that marks Youth Day.
*Picture: Former Provincial Secretary of SASCO, Phinda Mofokeng addressing students