Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; CBlacklist has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_blacklist.php on line 6 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; CBannedWords has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_blacklist.php on line 34 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Sidebar has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Sidebar.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Archives has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Archives/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; AuthoringMenu has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/AuthoringMenu/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Avatar has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Avatar/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Calendar has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Calendar/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Categories has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Categories/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; CounterTotals has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/CounterTotals/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Links has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Links/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; RecentComments has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/RecentComments/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; RecentEntries has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/RecentEntries/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; RecentTrackbacks has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/RecentTrackbacks/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Preferences has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Preferences/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; RandomEntry has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/RandomEntry/plugin.php on line 8 Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Search has a deprecated constructor in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/plugins/sidebar/Search/plugin.php on line 8 Warning: ini_set(): Headers already sent. You cannot change the session module's ini settings at this time in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_login.php on line 15 Warning: session_set_cookie_params(): Cannot change session cookie parameters when headers already sent in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_login.php on line 18 Warning: session_start(): Cannot start session when headers already sent in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_login.php on line 26 Warning: session_start(): Cannot start session when headers already sent in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/comments.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Function get_magic_quotes_gpc() is deprecated in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_forms.php on line 19 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Warning: strpos(): needle is not a string or an integer in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/comments.php on line 34 Warning: strpos(): needle is not a string or an integer in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/comments.php on line 35 Warning: strpos(): needle is not a string or an integer in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/comments.php on line 36 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method arrays::explode_key() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_entry.php on line 254 Africa Tamed Travel Blog - A Journey into South Africa's Apartheid Era
Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method arrays::explode_key() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_entry.php on line 254 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::file_listing() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 29 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::file_listing() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 29 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::write_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 17 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::make_dir() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/classes/fileio.php on line 70
A Journey into South Africa's Apartheid Era 
Sikhululekile, the new luxurious Robben Island ferry, cruised across Table Bay at a strong 25knot pace with a full load of 285 passengers. This was the start of our 3hr30min journey into South Africa’s bumpy apartheid history. Standing on the outer deck, the strong wind playing havoc with my long hair while Sikhululekile bounded powerfully over the huge swell, I was being entertained by a school of dolphins playfully following alongside the motor yacht. Within 30min we had arrived at the island only 12km from the Cape Town harbour, the potent stench of the seal colony at the entrance to the harbour maliciously reawakened my senses, completely knocking me off guard. Thankfully it was short lived and I could regain my composure as the smell dissipated when we disembarked.


Sikhululekile docked at Robben Island

The island itself is relatively small at only 570 hectares and was used predominantly as a maximum-security prison for both political prisoners and convicts. In the 19th century it was used as a leper colony. Back in 1892, it was believed that leprosy was contagious and those with leprosy were banished to the island. Today one can see the graveyard of the remaining bodies. During World War 2, the island was fortified and guns were installed as part of the defences for Cape Town.


Scenic bus tour of Robben Island


Shipwreck on Robben Island with views of Cape Town

All 285 passengers embarked the waiting tour busses to partake in a 45 min scenic tour around the island, each with its own tour guide offering an informative commentary. The busses then pulled up outside the maximum-security prison and we were taken inside on a journey of desperate struggle, of harsh labour and terrible living conditions. (The large group of 300 tourists were again split up into smaller groups). Our guide, Muthe, an ex-political prisoner, described many horrific scenes that he encountered first hand and still remembers vividly today. I could sense an intense anger in him over South Africa’s past, how things used to be, how black people in our country were treated only because of their colour. I wondered if Muthe felt there had been in a change in our country over the last 19 years (since the final release of all the political prisoners in 1991) or since South Africa became a democracy (1994), or did he still hold anger and blame towards South Africa’s apartheid era? Muthe and the other ex-political prisoners, are a product of decades of violent conflict, one that will probably take many years still to change at core level.


Robben Island maximum security prison

Robben Island became a museum in 1997 and a World Heritage Site 1999. Robben Island signifies the “Triumph of Freedom” and although one tends to come away from the 3hr30min tour with a dreadful feeling of desperate struggle having being adversely affected by the horrific stories of our ex-political prisoner tour guide, it tries to reveal the positive change. Sikhululekile, the apt name chosen for the ferry, means, “We are Free” and commemorates the release of all political prisoners. Large blue writing on the sides of the busses called out “Driven by Freedom”. A quote by Ahmed Kathrada, a Robben Island political prisoner (1964 – 1982) is displayed on the island and at the Robben Island Gateway Museum; “We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation”


The release of political prisoners in 1991


Robben Island maximum security prison A section

This year 11 February 2010, South Africa celebrates the 20th anniversary of our much-respected former president, Nelson Mandela’s release from more than 27 years of imprisonment. Nelson Mandela was released on 11 February 1990 from the low-security Victor Verster prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, in the Dwars River valley near Paarl, Western Cape. Mandela had been relocated from Robben Island to the maximum-security Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town's southern suburbs in 1984, and a few years later he was moved to a private house within the prison walls of Victor Verster.
The tour is a fascinating journey, one I would recommend to all South Africans, let alone all international tourists. It’s imperative for us to be aware of, and understand, our past and move forward together as a nation.


Robben Island Gateway Museum and clocktower

The Robben Island tour is a weather dependant activity and should Robben Island need to cancel the trip due to high winds, rough seas or rain, you will either be refunded for your ticket or placed on a tour the following day.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed , your Southerm Africa travel specialists!


Comments 
Comments are not available for this entry.