Drakenstein Correctional Centre South Africa South Africa, Paarl

Drakenstein Correctional Centre Tourist Map

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Drakenstein Correctional Centre (formerly Victor Verster Prison) is a low-security prison between Paarl and Franschhoek, on the R301 road 5 km 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 location where Nelson Mandela spent the last part of his imprisonment for campaigning against apartheid. In 1982 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 on 9 December 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 14 months at Victor Verster Prison until his release on 11 February 1990. On the day of his release, reporters from all over the world surrounded the prison, giving the prison worldwide publicity. The private house where Mandela lived has been declared a South African National Heritage Site, and a statue of Mandela stands just outside the prison gates.