Itumeleng Makwela, a former inmate picture giving a tour on Robben Island. Makwela was imprisoned on Robben Island from 1983 to 1990 after he was convicted for high treason against the apartheid government. Photographer: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)
Itumeleng Makwela, a former inmate picture giving a tour on Robben Island. Makwela was imprisoned on Robben Island from 1983 to 1990 after he was convicted for high treason against the apartheid government. Photographer: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

Demand for ‘wall of remembrance’ of former Robben Island prisoners

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Feb 13, 2020

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Cape Town - The Ex-Political Prisoners Association (EPPA) is demanding permission to build a “wall of remembrance” at the Robben Island Museum to commemorate all former political prisoners.

In a statement to mark Nelson Mandela’s release from prison 30 years ago, EPPA secretary-general Mpho Masemola said: “If there are no funds, let the people and ourselves fund this noble project of memorialisation.”

Masemola claimed: “The Department of Arts and Culture has abandoned the legacy and heritage of Nelson Mandela at Robben Island Museum, and must be reminded that no delay will be tolerated in involving the ex-political prisoners in the development of the island.”

Masemola said the association hoped that the government “would provide the necessary guarantees if we are allowed to raise the funds needed for such development”.

Speaking about a scheduled increase in ticket price tariffs for visitors to the island set for June 1, Masemola said: “All the money generated from the ticket sales must directly benefit ex-political prisoners and their dependants. The funds should be channelled through a trust fund administrated by the museum and EPPA.”

From June the museum will apply a R50 increase on international tour prices and a R20 increase on local tour prices.

When the new rates were announced last year, museum spokesperson Morongoa Ramboa said: “This will result in an increment from R380 for South African adults to R400 and R210 for South African children aged between 2 and 18 years; while the non-South African citizens’ rate will increase from R550 to R600, and R300 for non-South African children.” 

@MwangiGithahu

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Cape Argus

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