20 Couples tie the knot on Mandela’s prison island on Valentine’s Day

Johannesburg, Feb 15 (IANS) Twenty couples celebrated Valentine’s Day on Tuesday by getting married on Robben Island, where South African president Nelson Mandela spent 18 years imprisoned for his activities against the apartheid regime.

The couples left in a boat from the port of Cape Town on Tuesday morning and returned later the same day with their new marital status, EFE news reported.

One of the couples, Grace and Michael Msibi, travelled from Johannesburg to take part in the event on the small island off the coast of Cape Town.

“It was the monument of apartheid but now it has turned out to be a place of love. We want to add to its history,” said Msibi.

The ceremonies were held in the chapel of the island, where masses used to be held before the fall of the regime of racial segregation and the closure of the prison.

South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba officiated at the weddings, and the brides and grooms later celebrated with their guests at a banquet.

Located about 7 kilometers (4.35 miles) from the shore of Cape Town, Robben Island has been used as a prison in the last centuries.