It's been three years since the black consciousness leader, Steve Biko, died in police detention in Pretoria in South Africa.
CU (MUTE) Poster of Steve Biko inside Guguletu Roman Catholic church, Cape Town
SV INT. Church crowd singing during Biko memorial service
SV Crowd waving and chanting and waving fists
SV Crowd singing ZOOM IN TO Small child
SV PAN Crowd chanting and waving arms
SV EXT. Crowd leaving church singing and waving fists (2 shots)
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Background: It's been three years since the black consciousness leader, Steve Biko, died in police detention in Pretoria in South Africa. On Sunday (14 September) hundreds of blacks held a memorial service for him in Cape Town, showing that the Biko episode has not been forgotten. There was international outrage when it was learned he died handcuffed and naked in a prison cell, but an official inquest cleared the police of any wrong-doing.
SYNOPSIS: Eight hundred people attended the memorial service at the Gugu letu Roman Catholic Church, in Cape Town.
Tributes to Biko came in the form of speeches, poetry and song.
Steve Biko died in detention in 'September 1977. The incident caused widespread international criticism of the methods used by South Africa's security police against black activists. An official inquest found that nobody was responsible for his death. James Kruger, the Justice Minister, described as "scandalous" allegations that Biko died as a result of police torture.
The controversy surrounding Biko's death has not abated. A day before the memorial service the South African Medical Association issued a statement saying doctors who treated Biko while he was in detention were not guilty of negligence. The statement also said the doctors had not deferred to the security police when it come to the interests of the patient. As far as the authorities are concerned the Steve Biko case is closed, but for the blacks his martyrdom symbolises a milestone in their fight for freedom.
The emotion-charged memorial service was peaceful, and it passed without incident.
Security police patrolled outside the church but the organisers said they did not want the authorities to see the service as an act of provocation. The organisers also called on the community to work towards justice and reconciliation in South Africa.