I could not help thinking of Steve Biko when I heard of the death of the Mozambican taxi driver. A video of him being dragged behind a police van went viral this week. It was not because the man was a freedom fighter, but like Biko, the black consciousness leader, he also died after being left for dead in a police cell after being tortured.
Similarly, people liken the images of the Marikana massacre, when striking miners were shot at by police, to the Sharpville massacre of 1960. And the murder charges against athlete Oscar Pistorius, along with the gang rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen, highlight the country’s problems with gender violence. Such brutality and violence betray South Africa’s progress and just how far we are from escaping our violent past. There is something very wrong with this rainbow nation begotten from a peaceful settlement and lauded internationally.