Halting of sale of Biko's autopsy report welcomed
The autopsy revealed Steve Biko was killed through torture by security forces in 1977.
JOHANNESBURG - Advocate George Bizos has welcomed a court interdict preventing the sale of the original Steve Biko autopsy documents, saying their preservation is essential for ensuring that South Africa's history is remembered correctly.
The High Court in Johannesburg today granted an interdict against the sale which was due to take place at an auction near Melrose Arch.
The autopsy revealed Biko was killed through torture by security forces in 1977.
The document is signed by Doctor Jonathan Gluckman who gave it to his secretary Maureen Steele fearing that it would be stolen and destroyed.
Steele's son, Clive Steele, tried to sell it on auction but Bizos says this should not happen.
"These documents prove that the captors took blame for the death and if the originals fall into the wrong hands, attempts may be made to alter what is not accepted as historical facts."
The High Court also an order cancelling the sale of Ahmed Timol's autopsy report.
Biko died after being tortured by apartheid security forces in 1977, while Timol died falling out of the 10th floor window of the then John Vorster Square Police Station.
Officers claim he committed suicide but that has been disputed by his family.
Biko's son, Nkosinathi, says auction house Westgate Walding, has now been prevented from selling the documents.
"We've just received an order in our favour and basically, the family and the auction house are prevented from disposing of the material, altering it and copying it."