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robben island view from signal hill

Inside South Africa: The Infamous Robben Island


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Perhaps the most iconic Island and place in Africa, Robben Island is a place of history which many would like to forget.  Place that reminds the people of South Africa of its dark past and reminds the world of the atrocities committed by humans against fellow humans, and most importantly also teaches us the art of persevering and never giving up no matter the odds against you.

Robben Island’s history is perhaps already well known b most people on the continent as it was where South Africa’s first post-apartheid president, Nelson Mandela was held a prisoner for twenty seven years as a punishment for fighting against the established Apartheid system.

The Island during the infamous White Apartheid system of governance was used to keep political prisoners captive. Leaders of the ANC who were responsible for fighting against the system were arrested and taken to the small Island to rot away in dungeons and cells.


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Some of the most popular political figures who spent time behind bar on the island included Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, with the latter going ahead to become president in recent memory.

After the fall OF apartheid IN 1994, and the eventual release of all the political prisoners held on the island, the place has been converted into a historical site with the Island’s prison serving as a museum where visiting tourists can familiarize themselves with the history of South Africa.

The Island is accessible to all and sundry and is mostly visited by foreigners who travel to Cape Town for tourism and site seeing. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

Transportation to the Island is through a ferry from the shores of Cape Town and takes an average of  five hours to reach the Island. On the coast of Cape Town, ferry trips to the Island abounds as thousands of tourist visit the Island every day.


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Akesse Sanza | Jetsanza.com

Akesse Moise Sanza is a Travel & Tourism Consultant, Travel Blogger, Anti-Human Trafficking & Safe Migration Advocate and a Traveler.

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