In 1961 it started being used as a prison again. During apartheid many Black people were kept on Robben Island as political prisoners. Former President Nelson Mandela was kept there. The prison internationally notorious for its harsh conditions and when the political prisoners of the apartheid government were released Robben Island became a symbol of the strength of the human spirit.
Robben Island was declared a World Heritage Site because the buildings on the island are a reminder of its sad history and because the same buildings also show the power of the human spirit, freedom and the victory of democracy over oppression