Famous former convicts go to jail

By Sheena Adams Time of article published Dec 6, 2004

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Cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, who spent several years behind bars at the Victor Verster prison in Paarl, will return to the jail on Tuesday for anniversary freedom celebrations.

Now renamed Drakenstein Correctional Centre, it was made famous in 1988 when former president Nelson Mandela was transferred there from Robben Island.

To celebrate 10 years of freedom, the department of correctional services plans a day of speeches, sport and music for former political prisoners and the public.

Special guests will include Deputy president Jacob Zuma, correctional services minister Ngconde Balfour, who was also imprisoned at the Drakenstein correctional centre, and Ahmed Kathrada.

Correctional Services spokesperson Graham Abrahams said in a statement that the occasion would be used to reunite former political detainees from Victor Verster, Robben Island, Pollsmoor and Johannesburg Prison.

"It will also be used to highlight the policy shift from a prison system that was based on retribution to a correctional system based on rehabilitation," he said.

Other famous prisoners include former national director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka and former ANC MP Tony


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