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Zuma commemorates Biko on Human Rights Day

Stephen Biko was beaten to death by Eastern Cape police in September 1977 at the age of 31.

The Bantu Stephen Biko memorial grave site in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – President Jacob Zuma has laid a wreath at the Bantu Stephen Biko memorial grave site in the Eastern Cape where his death is being remembered as the country celebrates Human Rights Day.

Zuma is in King William's Town, where he has joined Biko’s family to commemorate the Black Consciousness Movement leader’s life 40 years after his murder.

Biko was beaten to death by Eastern Cape police in September 1977 at the age of 31.

His son Hlumelo spoke briefly, saying today is about unity and the grave site offers all South Africans an opportunity to keep his legacy alive.

Outside the grounds where Tuesday’s main event is taking place, activists from Equal Education are picketing over poor school conditions in the province.

Equal Education’s Masixole Booi says the rights of Eastern Cape children to quality education have been violated.

“It can’t be correct for the president to celebrate human rights and act as if everything is normal and fine while the schools in the Eastern Cape are still built with mud, zinc or any inappropriate material.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)