An small island, 12 kilometres
off the shore
of Cape Town
, South Africa
. This island has a strange
history, having been used a a place to banish lepers
, the mentally ill
and most famously, political prisoners
, by all of the governments
which have been in power in South Africa
Perhaps the most famous resident of Robben Island was Nelson Mandela who spent 18 years of his life sentence in the maximum security wing of the prison on the island. He was later transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town for a further 6 years until he was released in 1988.
Other famous residents have been Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, Autshumato (a khoikhoi leader imprisoned by the Dutch settlers on Robben Island in 1658 - he later escaped from the island) and Makhanda (a Xhosa warrior-prophet imprisoned by Governor Lord Charles Somerset in 1819)
If you visit Cape Town you can now take a ferry over to the island and walk around the prison and other museum sites.