In the winter of 1964, Mandela arrived on Island, off the coast from Bloubergstrand. It was here in a prison that Mandela would spend eighteen of his twenty-seven years of prison sentence before he would be freed just prior to the fall of apartheid in South Africa. From 1961 to 1991, a maximum-security prison here held enemies of apartheid.
The racist regime in South Africa cramped Nelson Mandela to a small cell. The ground was his bed. Contact with friends, family, and well-wishers was limited. Mandela was allowed one visitor a year for thirty minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months.
Nelson Mandela was freed on 11 February 1990. He emerged from the jail as a mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa.