PORT ELIZABETH – The National Heritage Council wants the Port Elizabeth building where Steve Biko was tortured to be declared a heritage site.

The struggle icon died 38 years ago.

The infamous building where he was tortured at the hands of security police has become an eyesore but Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan is hoping to change that.

Struggle stalwart Moki Cekisani showed Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan the infamous Sanlam building where many of his fellow freedom fighters were tortured.

Cekisani, a friend of Steve Biko, was so badly tortured by security police here, he lost his hearing.

“The first time I knew Biko was in1970 that was my first time I met him, after that there were riots of 1976. The last time I saw Biko in a meeting was in 1976 where they were saying to Biko we must take the struggle forward,” Cekisani said.

A year later Biko’s body was found in a cell in Pretoria, he’d suffered severe brain damage after being beaten, tortured and transported for over a-thousand kilometres in a police van from Port Elizabeth.

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Danny Jordaan said, ” We will engage the owners of this place, this is not just a dilapidated run down building, it carries pain and memory and we must restore it.”

The National Heritage Council has called on the owners of the building to hand it over so it can be made into a heritage site.

– eNCA