Sale of Biko autopsy report thrown out by court

Pic of Nkosinathi Biko and EWN Correspondent Govan Whittles (in denim shirt) courtesy of Obenewa Amponsah, Director at the Steve Biko Foundation (via Twitter)

An urgent High Court application filed by the Biko family and the Steve Biko Foundation to prevent the sale of the fallen activist's autopsy report has been successful.

The autopsy was commissioned by the Biko family upon hearing of Biko's death and the report's whereabouts have been the cause of the latest commotion.

Biko's eldest son, Nkosinathi Biko - now also the CEO of the Steve Biko Foundation which he founded - outlined the details of the ordeal on 702's John Robbie Show:

It came to our attention a day-and-a-half ago. It is an initiative - I'm made to understand - by children of a certain Mrs Steele, who was the secretary to Dr Gluckman. Dr Gluckman represented the family at the autopsy of Steve Biko back in 1977. Dr Gluckman apparently handed these documents over to Mr Steele, hoping they would be better secured because his own office was under surveillance for the work that he was doing. Mrs Steele kept them in her private posession. I suspect then the children have come to get them through that channel. Any which way you look at it, these are unrelated parties to this matter.

Biko outlines how they first learnt of the intention to sell the report:

I got emailed by someone who drew our attention to this matter and when I read the stuff, it was obvious - we don't run on the same moral octane, but even as that may be the case, we should agree on a certain base level of standards as South Africans.

Biko intends to take steps beyond the successful court action:

I sat across the table when the first call that my lawyer made was to this family and I could sense that he was managing the conversation. We are going to the High Court and I file on behalf of the family and the foundation an urgent application to have an interdict served on this matter. For me, this is the first step. The second step is to ensure that these papers are retrieved from their possession of people who think like this.

Picture of Nkosinathi Biko besides his father courtesy of Mail and Guardian.

Listen to the conversation below:


This article first appeared on 702 : Sale of Biko autopsy report thrown out by court


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