posted August 23
For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kms from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society.
During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs.
Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. Robben Island came to symbolize, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity.
The day they got to go home
As we enter Robben Island prison
Mandela's Cell, his lime stone hole, his political rock pile and his court yard
Inside the Prison grounds
Sparks is his name, but when he was locked up he was called inmate #4583
He was a NAC prisoner along with Mandela for 11 years, until they were released.
The views from Robben Island