Sunday, September 1, 2013
Nelson Mandela's cell at Robben Island, as it appeared when I saw it last month. No toilet, no heat. And while the prisoners labored in a lime pit (which contributed to Mandela's tuberculosis, the after-effects of which he is suffering from still), it must have been quite easy for them to catch a glimpse, across the bay, of Cape Town's Table Mountain rising dramatically over the city just a couple of miles inland. The inmates were imprisoned within sight of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, while the residents of that city went about their lives paying little attention to the prison across the water.