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Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Drakenstein Correctional Centre
LocationDrakenstein Local Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa
Coordinates33°50′37″S 19°0′58″E / 33.84361°S 19.01611°E / -33.84361; 19.01611
Security classLow security
Managed byDepartment of Correctional Services

Drakenstein Correctional Centre[1] (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 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.[2]

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.[3]

Henri van Breda, who was found guilty in May 2018 of killing his parents and older brother and the attempted murder of his younger sister, is currently serving three life sentences in this facility.[4]


  1. ^ "'Drakenstein Correctional Services Adult Learning Centre". Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  2. ^ Mandela, Nelson (1994). Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Randburg: Macdonald Purnell. ISBN 0316874965.
  3. ^ "9/2/069/0166 - Victor Verster prison "Madiba House", farm Watervleit". South African Heritage Resources Agency. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  4. ^ Mortlock, Monique (8 June 2018). "Van Breda to be detained in general population at Drakenstein facility". Eyewitness News. Retrieved 29 May 2021.

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Drakenstein Correctional Centre
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