Public discussions focus on Steve Biko and Anton Lubowski – two prominent liberation struggle heroes

  • Posted: Sep 9, 2011

8 September 2011


Public discussions focus on Steve Biko and Anton Lubowski – two prominent liberation struggle heroes

Steve Biko and Anton Lubowski are two of the liberation struggle icons to feature in two public discussions to be held on Heritage Day at the TH Barry Lecture Theatre, SA Museum, the highlight of a jam-packed Heritage Week commemoration. 

During the morning session, which will run between 10h30 and 12h00 on Heritage Day, Anton Lubowski’s sister, Joleen du Plessis, will lead a moving pictorial tribute to her brother, entitled “Anton Lubowski – can we close the file”.  Du Plessis will focus on the influence of Anton’s life on a nation that is struggling to learn from the past.


Anton Lubowski was a freedom fighter with Namibia’s SWAPO and spent many years defending political activists during the apartheid era in that country.  He was assassinated in September 1989 and his assassins are still at large.

Other lectures included in the slot are "The Image in the Liberation of South Africa: A look at the holdings of the Iziko South African National Gallery" by Robyn Cedras (Collections Manager, Iziko Museums).  Local cultural activist Ron Martin will lead a discussion of how we can reclaim the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle. 


Iziko Museums curator Pre-Colonial Archaeology, Dr Sven Ouzman will lead a discussion "Forgotten Freedom Fighters: The San Struggle for Freedom Past and Present.

In the afternoon, between 14h00 and 15h00, Professor Kylie Thomas of the Department of English at UCT, will lead a discussion entitled “Visual Disturbance: The deaths of Biko and the Archives of Apartheid”.


“Since the time of Biko’s murder, photographs and artworks depicting his corpse have been in public circulation,” says Prof Thomas. The lecture will focus and consider works by Jane Alexander, Jillian Edelstein, Paul Stopforth and Sam Nhlengethwa, among others.

Co-incidentally both men were killed on 12 September; Biko in 1977 and Lubowski in 1989.


Both the morning and afternoon sessions are open to the public at no cost.




Iziko Museums (Iziko) operates 12 national museums in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections which reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these 12 museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, as well as unlimited free access to individuals aged 18 and under (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).


COMMEMORATIVE DAYS – FREE ENTRANCE (excluding Iziko Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope)

  • Human Rights Day: 21 March
  • Freedom Day: 27 April
  • International Museum Day: 25 May
  • Africa Day: 25 May
  • Youth Day: 16 June
  • National Women’s Day: 9 August
  • Heritage Week: 19 – 25 September
  • National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
  • Emancipation Day: 1 December
  • Day of Reconciliation: 16 December


Issued by: Phumeza Mgxashe
Manager: Marketing and Communications
Institutional Advancement, Iziko Museums
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 481 3891
Cell: 083 480 1522

On behalf of: Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums 

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