page 2012/41-27 - Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 27) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_027.jpg]

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ZA COM NMFP-2012/41-2012/41-27


Nelson Mandela's Warders (page 27) [Nelson Mandela's Warders_027.jpg]


  • 2011 (Creation)

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Verne Harris

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Page 27 of Nelson Mandela's Warders

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Access by permission of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

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  • English

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to the village. It was dark and raining. At some point Brand and a colleague managed to hide under some bushes. Cold and wet, exhausted, they spent the night there.

Life for Brand settled down after the initiation. In fact, he soon felt that life on the Island was a bit like life on the farm. Safe, with open space and fresh air. He bought an old car for R35 so he could easily access the fishing spots on the farthest reaches of the island. But apart from rock fishing he would also use a small boat to fish in deeper waters where he trapped lobster and dived for perlemoen. And every evening he would exercise by jogging the eleven kilometres round the island. But despite his interests he felt the island was a prison. He could escape to the mainland to see his family and girlfriend every second weekend but otherwise he was isolated.

After a few months Brand was told he would not be working with normal prisoners but with men jailed for rape and murder. Men who had killed for no reason. He was taken across to Section B where the Rivonians were incarcerated.

‘When I came in I see prisoners standing up greeting us, these old guys. I never heard of Mandela. I look at these old guys but they’ve got no tattoos, no 28s, 26s. I go through the cells, then I talk to this sergeant and say are you not afraid of them, and he says, no, man, they won’t harm you, they’re relaxed, they’re here for life. I say, who have they killed. He says, no man, they’re terrorists, they’re killing our people on the borders. I said, okay, these are the guys who killed my friend on the border. He said, no, they didn’t kill anyone, they are in for high treason and terrorism. These guys tried to overthrow the government. He told me a little about the Rivonia trial. But this meant nothing to me. Just another terrorist sitting in prison.’

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