Abram Onkgopotse Tiro
November 9, 1945
February 1, 1974
Age at Death:
Mr. Tiro was born in Dinokana, a small village near Zeerust North West Province, South Africa. He had 2 brothers and 1 sister, and his family greatly influenced his leadership skills at a young age. He was a hard worker, and participated early in life in student government. Mr. Tiro was a South African student activist and militant, with a lifelong commitment to advancing rights. He was expelled from the University of Limpopo in 1972 for his political activities, as he became an active member of the South African Student Organisation, out of which the Black Consciousness Movement grew. Following his expulsion, in 1972, he produced a scathing critique of the Bantu Education Act of 1953, and went on to teach history at Morris Isaacson High School near and around Central Western Jabavu (CWJ) in Soweto in 1973. Tsietsi Mashinini, who was an integral part of the 1976 student uprising, was one of Tiro's students during the time he taught at Morris Isaacson, and many of his students have recalled his impact on their own politicization during this period of student organization in South African history.
He was killed by a parcel bomb as he was opening it in 1974. Further, initially due to his militant actions, his home state would not allow burial there until 1998 when his remains were given to his mother to bury.
Was justice served?
No. Gordon Winter, a spy for the Apartheid Government, revealed in his book, Inside Boss, that Tiro was killed by the Z-Squad, a Bureau of State Security (BOSS) covert unit.