Prison Life OVERVIEW
Banishment and imprisonment on Robben Island was used more as a means of punishment rather than as a ‘rehabilitative’ tool. Most of the people sent to the Island had at some point, over the past 500 years, opposed colonial and apartheid rule in South Africa. Both colonial and apartheid rule divided people on the basis of race, class, gender and ethnicity. It denied the indigenous people their political and human rights. The daily lives of those banished to, or imprisoned on the Island mirrored the status quo and practices of colonialism and apartheid.
The general and single cell sections of the Maximum Security Prison were designed to separate prisoners and prevent contact between them. The prisoners held in the single cells had far less contact with their fellow prisoners and were locked in their cells for considerably longer hours.