News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday June 20th 2019

Historic documents handed to Robben Island amidst stormy weather

Sandiso Phaliso

A planned hand over of historic documents to the Robben Island Museum on the island itself was scuttled on Thursday due to heavy weather and rough seas which prevented the operation of the island ferry.

However, the handover of documents detailing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) findings during visits to Robben Island detainees in 1963 and 1964, as well as an artwork depicting names and prison numbers of detainees visited by the ICRC, took place nonetheless at the Robben Island Museum’s auditorium on the V&A Waterfront.

As a result of the change of venue, guest were not able to view, as indicated in the original programme, the prison’s visitors centre, the prison hall and prison cells where the political detainees spent much of their time while on the island.

Speaking at the handover, Robben Island Museum researcher Nolubabalo Tongo-Cetywayo said it was the first time the records would be available to the public as they had until recently remained classified.

The documents were of historical value as the provided insight into the earliest years of welfare activities carried out for political prisoners by the ICRC.

“We hope that these documents will not only enrich the museum’s collection but will also facilitate and enhance historical research,” said Catherine Gendre, who headed the ICRC delegation from Pretoria.

The ICRC started visiting political detainees on Robben Island in 1963 until 1991, and also visited detainees’ family members, providing them with meal vouchers and tickets to enable them to travel to visit their relatives on the island.

Moeketsi Ntsane, who worked for the ICRC between 1980 and 1991, said his job was to link the detainees and their families.

Ntsane said his responsibilities included facilitating transport and encouraging family visits.

But he said detainees’ families were often harassed by apartheid officials, with some members even being detained by the state due to their obvious links to political activists engaging in the struggle for democracy.

The painter who created the artwork, Anna Mueller, said grains of sand, evoking the island quarry on which Nelson Mandela and other giants of the struggle for democracy laboured, was one of the mediums used to created the work.

Asked what she believed it was worth, Mueller said she was unable to place a monetary value on it. – West Cape News

Historic documents handed to Robben Island amidst stormy weather

13/05/2010

Sandiso Phaliso

CAPE TOWN (WCN) – A PLANNED hand over of historic documents to the Robben Island Museum on the island itself was scuttled on Thursday due to heavy weather and rough seas which prevented the operation of the island ferry.

However, the handover of documents detailing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) findings during visits to Robben Island detainees in 1963 and 1964, as well as an artwork depicting names and prison numbers of detainees visited by the ICRC, took place nonetheless at the Robben Island Museum’s auditorium on the V&A Waterfront.

As a result of the change of venue, guest were not able to view, as indicated in the original programme, the prison’s visitors centre, the prison hall and prison cells where the political detainees spent much of their time while on the island.

Speaking at the handover, Robben Island Museum researcher Nolubabalo Tongo-Cetywayo said it was the first time the records would be available to the public as they had until recently remained classified.

The documents were of historical value as the provided insight into the earliest years of welfare activities carried out for political prisoners by the ICRC.

“We hope that these documents will not only enrich the museum’s collection but will also facilitate and enhance historical research,” said Catherine Gendre, who headed the ICRC delegation from Pretoria.

The ICRC started visiting political detainees on Robben Island in 1963 until 1991, and also visited detainees’ family members, providing them with meal vouchers and tickets to enable them to travel to visit their relatives on the island.

Moeketsi Ntsane, who worked for the ICRC between 1980 and 1991, said his job was to link the detainees and their families.

Ntsane said his responsibilities included facilitating transport and encouraging family visits.

But he said detainees’ families were often harassed by apartheid officials, with some members even being detained by the state due to their obvious links to political activists engaging in the struggle for democracy.

The painter who created the artwork, Anna Mueller, said grains of sand, evoking the island quarry on which Nelson Mandela and other giants of the struggle for democracy laboured, was one of the mediums used to created the work.

Asked what she believed it was worth, Mueller said she was unable to place a monetary value on it. – West Cape News

Tags: capetown, icrc, redcross, robbenisland

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