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National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999)


Declaration of "Madiba House", Farm Watervleit, Portion 2 of Farm 942, Drakenstein Correctional Services (Formally Known as Victor Verster Prison) as a National Heritage Site


Notice No. 748

15 July 2009


Department of Arts and Culture

South African Heritage Resources Agency


By virtue of the powers vested in the South African Heritage Resources Agency in terms of section 27(5) of the National Heritage Resources Act, 25 of 1999, SAHRA hereby declares "Madiba House" situated on the Farm Watervliet, Portion 2 of farm 942, Drakenstein Correctional Services (formally known as Victor Verster Prison) and all associated heritage objects, as a National Heritage Site.




Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is one of South Africa's greatest leaders, an international symbol of peace, democracy and the power of the human spirit.


It was at Drakenstein Correctional Services, formally known as Victor Verster Prison that the government engaged with the 'opposition' after nearly 40 years of apartheid. The site forms part of other recognised symbols of the history of "The Freedom Struggle" in South Africa and directly relates to Robben Island, a World Heritage Site, where Nelson Mandela was initially incarcerated. Drakenstein Correctional Services (Victor Verster Prison), seen as an isolated yet more 'comfortable place of imprisonment’ was used as the vehicle to facilitate negotiations between the Apartheid government and the liberation movement. In this controlled environment, the freedom of South African society was facilitated, leading to negotiations around the Freedom Charter and a future democratic South Africa, which ultimately formed the basis of our current constitution.


This democratic constitution, based on the humanitarian tenets of dignity, equality and freedom, is a ‘manifestation’ of a just triumph over the adversities suffered during the liberation struggle. 'Madiba House', Drakenstein Correctional Services (Victor Verster Prison) is presented as the geographic place in South Africa that facilitated this monumental moment in history.


It was here that interactions with Nelson Mandela (the ANC and the then South African government) were initiated. The former 'liberation' movements were recognised by the then South African government as a force to be reckoned with and the foundations for a free South Africa were laid. Victor Verster Prison was elementary to the peaceful transition from white minority rule to an inclusive democracy.




The following property falls within the protected area:












Portion 2 of Farm No 942


Department of Public Works


42,37.60 HA



N748 Diagram