Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Drakenstein Correctional Centre
Drakenstein Correctional Centre
Location Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa
Coordinates 33°50′37.07″S 19°0′57.98″E / 33.8436306°S 19.0161056°E / -33.8436306; 19.0161056Coordinates: 33°50′37.07″S 19°0′57.98″E / 33.8436306°S 19.0161056°E / -33.8436306; 19.0161056
Status Operational
Security class Low security
Managed by Department of Correctional Services

Drakenstein Correctional Centre [1](formerly Victor Verster Prison) is a low-security prison between Paarl and Franschhoek, on the R301 road 5km from the R45 Huguenot Road, in the valley of the Dwars River in the Western Cape of South Africa. The prison is famous for being the prison where Nelson Mandela spent the last three of the 27 years he spent in prison for campaigning against apartheid.

In 1984 Mandela was transferred from the maximum security prison on Robben Island, a small island in Table Bay, to Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai, Cape Town. From there, Mandela was moved to the then Victor Verster prison in 1988, where he lived in a private house inside the prison compound. Victor Verster, a farm prison, was often used as a stepping stone for releasing lower-risk political prisoners. Mandela served another three years at Victor Verster until his release on 11 February 1990. On the day of his release, news agencies from all over the world surrounded the prison, gaining the prison much notoriety worldwide.

There is a statue of Mandela just outside the prison gates. (See Statues of Nelson Mandela).


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