Cape Town – Nelson Mandela’s timeless values should be kept alive for the next generation and should not be associated with the current dynamic within the ANC because his legacy was far greater than the party, said Majid Mowzer, director of the Dullah Omar Centre in Rylands on Sunday.

Speaking on the eve of the third anniversary of Madiba’s passing, Mowzer said they had a replica of Madiba’s cell on display because many people could not afford to visit Robben Island to see the actual cell where he was imprisoned for 18 years.

Julie Minshull, sister of the late advocate Dullah Omar, said listening to the experiences of political prisoners as told by Vincent Diba, former Robben Island political prisoner and one of the last to be released from the island in 1991, “was mind-boggling and was quite an emotional experience”.

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Minshull, who grew up in the Struggle, said she lived in exile for 18 years because she had married a white Englishman, and interracial marriages were illegal during apartheid. She returned to live here in the early 90s. “You can’t imagine the way the prisoners lived,” she said, “for us to be able to live the way we do, to have freedom.”

Manenberg resident Vincenzo Peters said he was “amazed that the cell was so small” and that it did not break Madiba’s spirit.

Peters said he lived under a different kind of oppression now, where the community he came from was being held hostage by drug dealers and gangsters.

Cape Argus