Eddie Daniels Book Signing
The Book Shop was honored to host South African anti-apartheid activist Eddie Daniels for a book signing on Wednesday, September 26. Sponsored by the Luther College Department of Africana Studies, Mr. Daniels captivated students, faculty, staff and visitors with his conversations of time spent imprisoned on Robben Island for fifteen years. Hi crime was fighting the regime in South Africa. While in prison he befriended Nelson Mandela, the great leader of the African National Congress. Mandela always included Daniels in his political discussions and is quoted as stating of Daniels, "We recall his loyalty and courage, his sense of humour and justice as well as total commitment to the struggle of the prisoners for the eradication of inustice and for the betterment of their conditions."
Daniels' autobiography, There & Back: Robben Island 1964 - 1979, is his story of being born in District Six in 1928. Because of his opposition to apartheid as a member of the Liberal Party of South Africa and the African Resisitance Movement, he was banned, detained, imprisoned and banned again. Facing a possible death penalty, he refused to be a witness for the state or give undertakings to two supreme court judges who were prepared to negotiate with the National government for his release from prison.
He served his fifteen year sentence on Robben Island in "B Section" in the company of Mandela, Sisulu, Kathrada and other leaders. Three years and eight months after his release from prison, after the lifting of his banning orders, he married Eleanor in defiance of the Immorality and Mixed Marriages Acts. After those laws were expunged from the legal statute books, they remarried. Today, Mr. Daniels lives in Somerset West, near Cape Town.