Drakenstein Correctional Centre

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Drakenstein Correctional Centre
Drakenstein prison 5.jpg
Location Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa
Coordinates 33°50′37.07″S19°0′57.98″E / 33.8436306°S 19.0161056°E / -33.8436306; 19.0161056 Coordinates: 33°50′37.07″S19°0′57.98″E / 33.8436306°S 19.0161056°E / -33.8436306; 19.0161056
Status Operational
Security class Low security
Managed by Department of Correctional Services

Drakenstein Correctional Centre [1] (formerly Victor Verster Prison) is a low-security prison between Paarl and Franschhoek, on the R301 road 5 km from the R45 Huguenot Road, in the valley of the Dwars River in the Western Cape of South Africa. The prison is famous for being the location where Nelson Mandela spent the last part of his imprisonment for being a political terrorist.

Paarl Place in Western Cape, South Africa

Paarl is a city with 191,013 inhabitants in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is the third oldest town and European settlement in the Republic of South Africa and the largest town in the Cape Winelands. Due to the growth of the Mbekweni township, it is now a de facto urban unit with Wellington. It is situated about 60 kilometres (37 mi) northeast of Cape Town in the Western Cape Province and is renowned for its haunting scenic beauty and deep viticulture and fruit growing heritage.

Western Cape Province of South Africa on the south-western coast

The Western Cape is a province of South Africa, situated on the south-western coast of the country. It is the fourth largest of the nine provinces with an area of 129,449 square kilometres (49,981 sq mi), and the third most populous, with an estimated 6.6 million inhabitants in 2018. About two-thirds of these inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Cape Town, which is also the provincial capital. The Western Cape was created in 1994 from part of the former Cape Province.

Nelson Mandela President of South Africa, anti-apartheid activist

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

In 1982 Mandela was transferred from the maximum security prison on Robben Island, a small island in Table Bay, to Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai, Cape Town. From there, Mandela was moved to the then Victor Verster Prison on 9 December 1988, where he lived in a private house inside the prison compound. Victor Verster, a farm prison, was often used as a stepping stone for releasing lower-risk political prisoners. Mandela served another 14 months at Victor Verster Prison until his release on 11 February 1990. On the day of his release, reporters from all over the world surrounded the prison, giving the prison worldwide publicity. [2]

Robben Island Place in Western Cape, South Africa

Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 kilometres (4.3 mi) west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for "seal island." Robben Island is roughly oval in shape, 3.3 km (2.1 mi) long north-south, and 1.9 km (1.2 mi) wide, with an area of 5.08 km2 (1.96 sq mi). It is flat and only a few metres above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event. Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid. To date, three former inmates of Robben Island have gone on to become President of South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe, and Jacob Zuma.

Table Bay bay at the north of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa

Table Bay is a natural bay on the Atlantic Ocean overlooked by Cape Town and is at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula, which stretches south to the Cape of Good Hope. It was named because it is dominated by the flat-topped Table Mountain.

Pollsmoor Prison, officially known as Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, is located in the Cape Town suburb of Tokai in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was one of the most famous people imprisoned there. He described Pollsmoor Prison as "the truth of Oscar Wilde's haunting line about the tent of blue that prisoners call the sky."

The private house where Mandela lived has been declared a South African National Heritage Site, and a statue of Mandela stands just outside the prison gates. [3]

Henri Van Breda [4] who was found guilty in May 2018 of killing his parents and older brother and for the attempted murder of his younger sister, is currently serving three life sentences in this facility.

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  1. "'Drakenstein Correctional Services Adult Learning Centre". www.capegov.com. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  2. Mandela, Nelson (1994). Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Randburg: Macdonald Purnell. ISBN   0316874965.
  3. "9/2/069/0166 - Victor Verster prison "Madiba House", farm Watervleit". South African Heritage Resources Agency . Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  4. "Henri Van Breda".