Fathers and Sons




In the winter of 1981 Luke Calder was taken into custody by the security branch of the South African Police Service as he attempted to enter the pedestrian gate into his residence at Rhodes University.

In many ways Luke was an extraordinary young man: top of his law class three years running, a provincial long distance runner and a leader, elected Senior Student of College House and a member of the Students’ Representative Council.

It didn’t help him, and in the next week he was kept in solitary confinement and when he was taken from that dark hole which stunk of his own body waste, he was beaten, tasered and subjected to various forms of asphyxiation.

He was innocent of their charges, was being punished for his association with others, but he and his father knew he had to leave the country of his birth. He would not have survived a second time in that torture house.

This is his story.