Photographer's Note

2010 FIFA World Cup-Tribute to the Rainbow Nation

“ We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation “
Ahmed Katharada, Prisoner 468/64
Robben Island 1964-1982

This is Robbeneiland in Afrikaan for Robben Island. Located 7 nautical miles off the shores of Green Point, It was named by the Dutch for the large number of seals - "rob". Originally a penal colony for errant slaves, later became one of the most notorious prisons in the world. It was later used by the British as a general dumping ground for lepers, paupers and lunatics alike. In the 2nd half of 19th century, a small village was built next to the jetty known as the Irish Town. A military base during World War 2, it was taken over by the Dept of Prison in 1960 and quickly acquiring a reputation as South Africa's most notorious penal colony.

Many of the present government's top officials were held here which included Walter Sisilu, Ahmed Katharada and the most famous is Nelson Mandela who was condemned to life imprisonment in June 1964. He was released in 1990 after spending 26years in Section B of the prison. Today this South Africa's Alcatraz has been turned into a national monument to the struggle against apartheid, as well as a nature reserve, a musuem and a World Heritage Site

Shot date May 2003
Nikon FA, 20mm AF Nikkor F2.8,
Nikon circular Polariser 62mm
Slidefilm Kodachrome 64
Cropped from original image.

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