The massive wreath next to the casket, formed from red carnations, white chrysanthemums and blue irises, carried a simple message: "No nation can afford to loses its most dedicated and creative leadership."
The card, signed "Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations," seemed to symbolize the intense feelings of 20,000 blacks who converged on tiny king William's Town today to pay their respects to Steve Biko - the founder of South Africa's black consciousness movement and a man pegged by some to be South Africa's first black prime minister - who died in police detention two weeks ago.
The outpouring of emotion at the funeral was largely peaceful, but angry mourners returning to their homes clashed with police in the Mdantsane black township outside the coastal city of East London, 30 miles east of here. According to reports from the township, one policeman was killed and one seriously injured.
A police spokesman said officers opened fire on the crowds, wounding two rioters.
In addition to the thousands of blacks, several Western diplomats attended the funeral, including U.S. Ambassador William Howdler and Don McHenry, deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Their presence was intended to underscore growing America pressure on South Africa to change its system of racial segregation.
Since Biko's death was announced Sept. 12, South Africa has come under international criticism over the deaths of 21 nonwhites in its jails in the past year and a half.
The cause of Bilo's death is still unclear, South African authorities originally said it was caused by a hunger strike. An autopsy reportedly showed brain and body injuries - and the presence of bruises on biko's body to [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]