A letter to the editor of Eastern Cape newspaper the Daily Dispatch focused on the “wise words” of Pan Africanist Congress founder and struggle icon Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe.
The only problem? They featured a picture of another anti-apartheid activist, Bantu Stephen Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement.
The mistake met with sharp criticism on Twitter, although one user did imply others were overreacting and noted it was just a “human error”.
Who needs a sub-editor? From the Daily Dispatch pic.twitter.com/osQ6HJa0GN
— Russell Grinker (@grinker1) January 28, 2019
One Twitter user pointed out the irony of the mistake coming from this particular publication. Donald Woods, who was an editor of the Daily Dispatch from 1965, became a close friend of Biko’s, with his newspaper publishing articles that got him banned and placed on house arrest by the apartheid government.
Woods eventually exposed the cover-up of his death by the National Party government in a book.
One does expect more from the Dispatch given that a previous editor was a friend of Biko's and risked the banning of the newspaper to highlight what was happening to Biko. But maybe that is "colonial" history
— Tsunami (@Bluewave4) January 28, 2019
Sobokukwe’s ideas and political writings are believed to have greatly influenced Biko’s.
The PAC founder passed away after a battle with lung cancer in 1978, with the apartheid government believed to have placed restrictions on his movements that made it harder for him to obtain treatment.
Biko’s death was more directly caused by the apartheid government. He died from injuries sustained after state security officers beat him during interrogation.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)