Nkosinathi Biko on how South Africa can move on

One hundred years after the creation of the ANC, 18 years after the end of apartheid, South Africa is a troubled place where Blacks continue to live on the margins. And though the African National Congress has suspended Julius Malema, the provocative youth leader who said that the sentiments have resonance among many Blacks who still face poverty, unemployment and White domination in industry. Today, the son of Steve Biko, the slain activist who founded the black consciousness movement against apartheid speaks frankly about his country, Malema's message and his own father's legacy.



Three of The Current

Nkosinathi Biko on how South Africa can move on

One of the most charismatic politicians in South Africa these days is Julius Malema. His supporters admire his passion and energy. And a new fashion line -- JuJu -- is even named after him. Until recently, Mr. Malema who is 31 was president of the African National Congress Youth league. But, he's a divisive man, because of comments aired in our clip.

The idea of blacks employing white domestic help is a real crowd pleaser. But Julius Malema's comments go farther... he talks about taking land from white farmers. He was once charged with inciting hate at a rally after singing a song called "Kill the Farmer." His comments and actions have caused such a rift, the ANC banned him from the party for five years ... something Mr. Malema is in the process of appealing. In Johannesburg's Soweto market, Julius Malema's has supporters and detractors. We aired a clip.

One hundred years after the founding of the African National Congress and 18 years after the end of apartheid, most South Africans live in poverty, and our next guest worries the country's on-going divisions could put in peril. The men and women who fought for a non-racial democracy had a clear idea what kind of country they wanted South Africa to become.

Steve Biko founded the black consciousness movement, which sought to mobilize black South Africans against apartheid. In 1977, he was arrested, interrogated and tortured by South African police. He died shortly after, while still in police custody. Nkosinathi Biko is Steve's eldest son, and he joined us from Johannesburg where he is the CEO of the Steve Biko Foundation.

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This half-hour was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and intern Marlene Leung.

Last Word

Many people outside South Africa were inspired by Steve Biko immortalized in Richard Attenborough's powerful 1987 film, Cry Freedom. Peter Gabriel wrote a song about him, used in the film and we aired a bit of this music to end the program.


Other segments from today's show:

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