Steve Biko Warned of Dangers of Post-apartheid Black Bourgeoisie 41 Years Ago

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Steve Biko. Photo-Youtube.

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Dr. Steve Biko was leader of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa and a dynamic young leader of the liberation struggle. His warning to the South African Black elite, 17 years before apartheid collapsed, was relevant to all African countries. He was brutally murdered --his head bashed with a hammer--by the apartheid regime. He was only 31.


In South Africa there is such an uneven distribution of wealth that any form of political freedom that does not touch upon the proper distribution of wealth will be meaningless. The Whites have locked up within a small minority of themselves the greater proportion of the country's wealth and if we have a mere change of face, of leaders in government positions, what is likely to happen is that Black people will continue to be poor and we will get a few Blacks filtering through into the so-called Bourgeoisie and our society will be run as almost of yesterday.

So for meaningful change to occur there needs to be an attempt at reorganizing the whole economic pattern and the economic policies within our particular country....a judicious blending of private enterprise, which is highly diminished, and state participation in industry and commerce. Industries like mining--gold, diamond, asbestos and so on. Like forestry and of course complete ownership of the land. In that kind of judicious blending of the two systems we hope to arrive at a more equitable distribution of wealth.

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