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Drakenstein Prison was known as the Victor Verster Prison and is situated in the Western Cape between Paarl and Franschoek. This prison became famous when journalists from far and wide swarmed to take photos of Nelson Mandela when he was released from there on 11 February 1990. A bronze statue was erected in front of the prison.

The Statue

  • Commissioned by Tokyo Sexwale Family Foundation. 
  • Jean Doyle was the artist who sculpted the statue.
  • Larger than life 3.2m bronze statue on a granite plinth.
  • Weight 460 kg.
  • In commemoration of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday.
  • Image of Mandela wearing a suit with his fisted hand in the air.

It was at this prison that Nelson Mandela spent the last 14 months of his incarceration after serving the first part of his 27 seven years of prison at Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison.

Mandela was held in a small house on the prison premises where he enjoyed many freedoms that had been denied for many years. He had a personal chef and had access to a swimming pool and a private study.

The House Museum

The house where Mandela stayed for the last few months of his incarceration, that is also on the prison property, has been declared a National Monument and is soon to be opened as a museum.

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