The police officers responsible for Biko’s death were not reprimanded. In fact, two received promotions. And despite Kentridge’s efforts, the inquest’s verdict found nobody was to blame for Biko’s death.
The reason for the sham verdict, Kentridge reminded us, was that the independence of the apartheid judiciary was undermined by biased judges appointed by the state. At this point there was an almost audible intake of breath from the audience seemingly putting two and two together about recent events around the appointment of the Chief Justice.
Hat-tip to Carpenter’s Shoes: Kentridge and Biko 2011.