Robben Island

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013

Robben Island

Robben Island (Dutch for “seal island”) is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 km of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid , as did current president Jacob Zuma.
Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners. The Dutch settlers were the first to use Robben Island as a prison. The island was also used as a leper colony and animal quarantine station Starting in 1845. Robben Island was used as a prison for political prisoners and convicted criminals from 1961 , It was a maximum security prison for political prisoners until 1991 and a medium security prison for criminal prisoners which was closed in 1996.