Historic day: Mandela and wife's 1st official contact visit in prison

Historic day: Mandela and wife's 1st official contact visit in prison

- On this day in 1984, former president Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, were allowed their first official contact visit while he was imprisoned

- He was jailed in 1964 after being convicted along with several other ANC leaders and sentenced to life in prison

- Two decades after he had been jailed, Madiba and Ma Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had their first conjugal visit

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Two decades after he was imprisoned, Nelson Mandela was allowed a conjugal visit with his wife. On 12 May, 1984, the former head of state and Ma Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had their first contact visit at Pollsmoor Prison.

A contact visit, or conjugal visit, is a scheduled period in which a prisoner is allowed to spend several hours in private with a visitor - in most cases their legal spouses.

Mandela was jailed in 1964 along with other ANC comrades and sentenced to life in prison. He spent 27 years in prison - 18 of which were at the brutal Robben Island Prison.

However, from 1982, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai, Cape Town, along with senior ANC leaders Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, and Raymond Mhlaba.

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By the time of their first contact visit, Mandela and Winnie had been apart for almost 20 years. They remained married for the duration of his sentence and the Mother of the Nation - as Ma Winnie was known - made a historic appearance with her husband on the day of his release.

However, Briefly.co.za previously reported that after many years together, the power couple who played a role in liberating South Africa, called it quits.

Two years after his release, the late former president announced he would be divorcing Winnie. The announcement stunned South Africans.

Their divorce was finalised on 19 March, 1996.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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