“Anti-apartheid leader Eddie Daniels (at right) with former South African President Nelson Mandela.”)
Anti-apartheid leader Eddie Daniels will speak at Raynor Memorial Library Beaumier Suites Monday, Oct. 1, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A reception will follow. His talk will describe his experiences under apartheid and in prison with Nelson Mandela, shedding light on race, color and politics.
Born in 1928, Daniels grew up in District Six, Cape Town, where he experienced the racial inequalities of South African society, including poverty and victimization by criminal gangs. Searching for an opportunity to help dismantle the apartheid regime, he joined the Liberal Party in 1959. He later joined the Armed Resistance Movement, which sabotaged government utilities in an attempt to destabilize the apartheid government. In 1964 he was caught and incarcerated for 15 years at Robben Island amid brutal living conditions.
Upon leaving prison, he made a commitment to spread the message of non-racialism and reconciliation. In his book, There and Back: Robben Island 1964-1979, Daniels concludes, “We have won the war, we have yet to win the peace.”
In the post-apartheid era Daniels, like other former prisoners and wardens, started leading tours to Robben Island, which has become a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity. Daniels has received official recognition from the South African government for his undying spirit of freedom and his contributions to the demise of racial oppression in South Africa.