Robben Island (Afrikaans: Robbeneiland) is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. The name is Dutch for "seal island". Robben Island is roughly oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an area of 5.07 km². It is flat and only a few metres above sea level, as a result of an ancient erosion event. The island is composed of Precambrian metamorphic rocks belonging to the Malmesbury Group. It is of particular note that it was here that Nobel Laureate and former Presidents of South Africa Nelson Mandela and Kgalema Motlanthe, alongside many other political prisoners, spent 27 years imprisoned during the apartheid era. Among those political prisoners was current President of South Africa Jacob Zuma who was imprisoned there for ten years.
Famous quotes containing the word island:
“I should like to have seen a gallery of coronation beauties, at Westminster Abbey, confronted for a moment by this band of Island girls; their stiffness, formality, and affectation contrasted with the artless vivacity and unconcealed natural graces of these savage maidens. It would be the Venus de Medici placed beside a milliners doll.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)