Namibia 1968 – 1979

Namibian political prisoners from D Section
BACK ROW, FROM LEFT: Conrad Lekhumbi, Thabo Stanley Ramalitse, Somdeni Solomon Mahlangu, Jerry Lentsoane, Themba Nkabinde, Mxolisi Gebashe MIDDLE ROW, FROM LEFT: Simon Castro Leholo, Leslie Ivan Seleka, Lennox Sabelo Matomane, Eric Toto Mani, Zwelinzima Bosi FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT: Mr Gabaikangwe Johannes Seleka, Thuso Tshika, Mlamli Masikana, Lumkile Happy Mkefa, Matiwane Sobantu, Enoch Sogovu Mthombeni INSET: Thembinkosi Moete Mzukwa
On the 9th February 1968 a significant number of SWAPO members involved in the Namibian War of Independence, were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment. They were sent to the Robben Island soon after sentencing, and were held in the Zinc Tronk. This prison had previously accommodated people suffering from TB and other easily transmittable diseases. Being one of the unhealthiest sections of the Island to be held in, some of the prisoners detained there contracted TB and developed Asthma. Eventually, in 1972, after persistent protest actions, the Namibian prisoners were moved to the solitary confinement cells in the Maximum Security Prison (MSP). In 1976 they were moved to the D section of the general sections of the MSP; except for their leader Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo. He remained in the B-section with other leaders like (former President) Nelson Mandela. A total of 6 SWAPO prisoners were sent to Robben Island between 1968 and 1979.
When they were sentenced, Toivo speaking on behalf of all Namibians (the detained ones and the ones at home) said: “We find ourselves here in a foreign country, convicted under laws made by people whom we have always considered as foreigners. We find ourselves tried by a Judge who is not our countryman and who has not shared our background. You, My Lord, decided that you had the right to try us, because your Parliament gave you that right. That ruling has not and could not have changed our feelings. We are Namibians and not South Africans. We do not now, and will not in the future recognise your right to govern us; to make laws for us in which we had no say; to treat our country as if it were your property and us as if you were our masters.”
Aaron Muchimba, SWAPO’s National Organiser in Namibia in 1975. He and another SWAPO member, Hendrick Shikongo, became in 1976 the first Namibians to be sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act. The sentences were later withdrawn, after evidence was presented of serious irregularities in the trial proceedings.
Namibian political prisoners from section D
FROM LEFT: John Alfons Pandeni, Malakia Shivute Uushona, Joseph Ndeshipanda Kashea, John ya Otto Nankundu, Joseph Helao Shityuwete, Sacharia Nashandi, Benjamin Chrispus Ulenga, Nghidipo Jesaja Haufiku, Eino Kamati Ekandjo, Ruben Itengula.

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