The ex-political prisoners (EPPs) have always and continue to be a key stakeholder in all RIM operations. We are honoured to have three EPPs currently serving on the RIM Council, to assist with guidance and strategic direction of the organisation.

Biography of Mr. Litha Jolobe

Current position: Robben Island Council Member
Term period: 01 July 2020-20 June 2025

Mr. Jolobe is no stranger to the liberation struggle of South Africa. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1980 and was trained as a uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) operative, in Swaziland. He was arrested in Durban in 1981, charged and sentenced to four years imprisonment, and was released in August 1986.

With the liberation fires still burning in his heart, he channelled his energy into education, working as a public relations and development officer for the University of Transkei (now Walter Sisulu University), before entering the public service as the Administrative Secretary to Mr. Steve Tshwete. This was the start of an illustrious and lengthy career in the public service.

During 2001, Mr Jolobe participated in the Robben Island Museum F-Section Reference Group.

Committed to life-long learning, he completed a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Political Administration with the University of Zimbabwe. He is presently employed as the Chief Director: Affordable Housing in the National Department of Human Settlements. Prior to this, he served as the Chief Director for Advisory Services in the same department. He is highly organised and skilled in social cohesion and has a passion for transforming old spatial arrangements.

Biography of Mr. Thembinkosi “Notty” Ngcobo

Current position: Robben Island Council Member
Term period: 01 July 2020-20 June 2025

Mr. Ngcobo was born into a family of seven siblings. With education already prioritised at a young age, Mr Ngcobo was determined to make it all the way and completed his Matric in 1980 via private study, under trying circumstances, in a South African context. After school he took up a position as a laboratory assistant at the Nestle food plant in Durban. Acutely alive to the need for change, Mr. Ngcobo was highly active in the underground activities of the liberation struggle and participated in pamphleteering since 1977.

During the early 80’s, Durban and Pietermaritzburg experienced several bomb attacks on both soft and hard targets, which Mr. Ngcobo was involved in. For this, he was arrested in October 1983, charged with terrorism, and on 15 March 1984, given a 20-year prison sentence. After spending a few months in Pretoria Prison, he arrived on Robben Island in June 1984, from where he was released on 31 March 1991.

After his release from prison, Mr. Ngcobo worked tirelessly to set up structures of the African National Congress in anticipation of the 1994 elections. He was deployed across the KZN-Midlands to quell the spread of political violence in the period running up to the elections. After the elections, he took a conscious decision not to pursue active political involvement any further. Instead, he pursued involvement in Non-Governmental Organisations that were involved in housing, as he identified that this was a real need for the people. With a yearning to be involved in service of the people, he later became involved in the construction of houses and has built his career around this business. Mr. Ngcobo has achieved provincial and national recognition for his work in the building industry as recipient of the “Housing person of the year” award from the Institute of Housing (SA) during 2005 and the “Best housing project “award from the National Department of Housing in 2002.

Mr. Ngcobo holds a BComm degree from Unisa, a Diploma in Project Management and a Certificate in Bricklaying. He participated in the Robben Island Museum Bougroep1 Reference Group in March 2005 as well as in the Robben Island Museum EPP Life History Interviews in KZN in 2020.

Biography of Prof. Saths Cooper

Current position: Chairperson of Robben Island Museum Council
Term period: 01 July 2020-20 June 2025

Born on 11 June 1950, Saths Cooper grew up in Kranskloof, a rural community near Clermont Township, Durban. He was nine years old when Sharpeville erupted, with the growing realisation that South Africa was divided along racial lines. He attended and completed his secondary school education at Sastri College, Durban in 1967. The politically charged atmosphere of the school initiated him into political activism.

His political activism during the late 1960s exposed him to some underground pamphleteering. He was expelled during his second year at university and became a locum teacher. He organized various theatre, poetry, and related groups into the Theatre Council of Natal, organising annual drama festivals and the South African Black Theatre Union (with John Kani, Winston Ntshona and Strini Moodley). When the Black People’s Convention was formed, he became its first PRO in 1972. Banned and house-arrested in February 1973 together with Steve Biko, Barney Pityana, Harry Nengwekhulu and other SASO and BPC leaders, he was arrested on 25 September 1974 for organising the Viva Frelimo Rallies in solidarity with Mozambican independence and held in incommunicado detention with numerous other activists (including President Ramaphosa) until he was charged on 31 January 1975 as the first accused in the SASO/BPC trial. He and his eight co-accused were convicted under the notorious Terrorism Act and sentenced to six years imprisonment on Robben Island in December 1976.

On his arrival at the island, he was isolated and then spent a few months in E-section where he worked in the quarry. After protesting the conditions at the quarry, he was charged by the Officer Commanding, isolated and eventually taken to B-section where the leadership of the various political organisations were incarcerated. He also stayed in F-section of the prison for three months, where he made bricks, and was able to participate in political discussions in the general sections during that time. Denied studies until the last two years of his imprisonment, he completed a bachelor’s degree majoring in Psychology, English and Philosophy. He also composed poetry whilst on the island. He was released on 20 December 1982.

Upon his release, he continued his political activities, convening the National Forum in 1983 and becoming AZAPO President in 1985. He also completed a PhD in Clinical /Community Psychology at Boston University in the USA in 1989. Professor Cooper received numerous awards, accolades and recognition, both nationally and internationally, for his work in the discipline of Psychology. Amongst such achievements was serving as the first Black person to Chair the Professional Board for Psychology, the first non-medical and dental practitioner to be elected as Vice President of the Health Professions Council of SA, the first President from outside Western Europe and the USA of the International Union of Psychological Science (2012-2018), and a founding Board Member of the International Science Council (2018-2021). He is the President of the Pan-African Psychology Union and serves on the boards of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (until mid-October 2022), and the Freedom Park Trust.

Tour Details


Cape Town
Light Rain
05:4019:19 SAST
Feels like: 15°C
Wind: 18km/h NW
Humidity: 90%
Pressure: 1017.27mbar
UV index: 0


South Africans
R400 per adult
R210 per child (U/18)

Non South Africans
R600 per adult
R310 per child (U/18)

Tour Times
09:00  |  11:00  |  13:00  15:00