ON September 3 The Herald published information about a number of events all purporting to commemorate the death of Steve Biko at the hands of the apartheid security police 35 years ago. Azapo in the Mzwandile Mcoseli region finds this development strange and opportunistic.
All of a sudden an impression is created that Biko has always been remembered in the month of September by all and sundry. Yes, Biko is an icon, a national hero who represents black resilience to oppression and white liberalism.
Biko symbolises black excellence and the dynamism of black thinking! It is therefore ironic for a white liberal party like the DA to jump onto the bandwagon and want to make the nation believe it genuinely wants to commemorate the death of Biko!
Azapo has consistently commemorated the death of Biko from 1978 to date. The period September 6 to 12 is known as BC Week on the struggle calendar of the broader liberation movement. Azapo, through her student wing, Azasco, partnered with Canrad at NMMU to give Biko the most deserving commemorative event befitting his legacy of black self-reliance and black self-pride.
Azapo commemorated the death of Biko even during times of mudslinging when he was labelled a CIA agent and his name rubbished.
Azapo defended the name of Biko unapologetically and successfully!
What Azapo finds irritating is the audacity of the DA-aligned student organisation, Daso, to organise an event in the name of Biko on the eve of Azapo's memorial lecture, addressed by Prof Itumeleng Mosala at NMMU. This shows the disrespect these white liberals have for Azapo.
Helen Zille does not qualify to talk with authority to the students at NMMU about Biko and black consciousness. The fact that Zille reported about the death of Biko as a journalist does not qualify her to speak about Biko.
For the record, Biko and his Saso comrades broke ranks with Nusas, a white liberal organisation.
In commemorating Biko, Azapo in this region will never work with the DA that refers to blacks from the Eastern Cape as refugees in their own land of birth.
Azapo will never sit back and allow white and black liberals of the DA to hijack the legacy of Biko and distort black consciousness.
Masikane Mapena, regional chairman, Azapo