Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Historical Lesson in South Africa

2nd July 2010

What is the first thing that came to our mind when people say South Africa? Apartheid of course. It still baffles me how people can diffrentiate others just by skin colour and their races. Apartheid regime ruled South Africa from 1948 to 1994. In all those years, many people has rebelled towards apartheid and many of them are political leaders.

South Africa was ruled by the Dutch for 250 years, before English took over for another 100 years, so they were never really freed until 1994. In all those years, the Dutch and English ruled other countries as well, (including Malaysia) hence you could expect the same rebellion taking places in those countries. The leader (rebels) from all over the world were taken into custody and sent to maximum security prison situated at Robben Island. The island housed a prison complex and only facilities to staffs of the prison.

After apartheid was knocked down, the political prisoners were released and criminal prisoners were relocated. So the complex was restored and opened for visitors.

We bought the ticket to Robben Island Tour on my birthday but the trip was cancelled due to bad weather, so we differed to this day.

We took the 9am trip. The jetty is situated at Waterfront, the boat is the big one (like the one going to Langkawi) . On the way to waterfront, we spotted this!!

The tour on the island is led by ex-prisoners, and they told us first hand how they were treated back in those days. We were taken on the bus tour, and the guide is this man Yassin. He was really entertaining. He started by asking around the bus where we all came from, and he relates his narration to each and every country that was on the bus. His ancestors were both from Malaysia and India, so he said to me, we probably some 3rd or fourth cousin..kelakar la pulak...;)

He made a lot of jokes, one that gets the most laugh is,

Q: Why India can never win a football match?
A: Because everytime they gets a corner, they open a shop.

We passed by few main landmarks. This one is the house where the pioneer rebels Robert Sobukwe was kept. I always thought Nelson Mandela was the one who started it all, apparently I was wrong. Read more about the late Sobukwe here.

We we are also taken into the inmates cell, shown artifacs of how the prison cards look like. We had the chance to go to the block where Mandela spent his 27 years in imprisonment. In each cells they posted personal experience of former inmates, on how they were arrested, under what act they were charged, so on and so forth.

We were also shown the limestone mine, where the prisoner was tasked to work there during day time. Limestone is white as it is, the scorching sunlight in the day makes it hard to work. This task were given not to get the limestone, but serve as a sort of punishment. Many of the prisoners were blinded due to that punishment.

My camera battery died here during the beginning of the tour, so I do not have that many pictures, more with Ija, but have not met her yet since we came back. So I kinda forget what we did for the rest of the days...bole tak? hehehe...Will update once I got the pics from Ija.


  1. Azita,

    First is.. TAK BOLE! :D. Si si sila update and with pics nanti tau!

    Yassin cakap BI ke bahsa Melayu? *dok terbayang dia cakap lorat Utara :D

    The limestone punishment is simple cruel, uh?

  2. ok, no problemo seniorita ;) yassin tu ckp omputih, with a slight british accent..gitu..
    yes, the punishment just cruel, macam2 kan manusia ni, they would do anything just to feel superior than others..

  3. sokong aida! NO PUEDES SENORITA!!!!

    sila dapatkan gambar2 itu dan sambung cerita anda secepat mungkin!

    moral of the story, pegi beli spare battery b4 your next trip!

  4. gilerla...len kali waka waka ajakla aku skali...

    opss...no more waka waka after this lg ek? ;p

  5. dieya: cerita hari lain bole sambung after overnight charging ;) silelah bace yer...

    adriza: aku memang gile..mase mula2aku berjaya pengaruh shaz ikut aku..pastu dia ade komitment lain xleh ikut aku menggila..hehehe..ko nak? len kali ye..:)


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