Reports and documents: ICRC report on the visit to “Robbeneiland” (Robben Island) Prison on the 1st May, 1964, by Mr G. Hoffmann, Delegate General of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Africa

08 February 2018

On 1 May 1964, Georg Hoffmann, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegate General in Africa, inspected Robben Island Prison, where some twenty days earlier Nelson Mandela was visited for the first time. Having access to political prisoners in apartheid South Africa, the ICRC sought to ensure that detainees lived in decent conditions and were treated humanely.The following is the report of the detention visit conducted by Georg Hoffmann. The document provides a detailed overview of the living conditions, work and medical treatment of detainees, as well as recommendations given to prison authorities after the visit. The report was confidential at the time of writing. It was made public in 2004 and is reproduced for the first time here in the Review.