Steve Biko was the number forty sixth person to die in security police detention in South Africa. And for the first time, the inquest revealed full and horryfying details of how political detainees are treated. What exactly happened to Biko in room 619 is known only to his interrogators. But from a close reading of the inquest proceedings, given in this book, it is possible to reconstruct the events and identify the likely culprits.

The inquest verdict exonerated the police, shocking the world but demonstrating once again the inherently ruthless and oppressive nature of apartheid state.


I - Introduction

II - The Life of Steve Biko

III - Black Consciousness

IV - The Death of Steve Biko

V - The Funeral

VI - The Inquest

VIII - The Pathologists

IX - The Doctors

X - Counsel’s Submission on behalf of the Biko Family

XI - The Verdict

XII - Unanswered Questions

XIII - The Courts