Freedom Fighter Escape Facts
- Convict Alexander Anderson built the first prison in Pretoria. He was sentenced to 12 months of hard labor, but was promised that if he built the prison, he’d be pardoned.
- The African National Congress (ANC) started in 1912 and helped lead the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
- In the nineteenth century, thirteen offenders tried to escape Pretoria Central Prison by lifting one of the slates covering the floors and digging a tunnel. They were rearrested and the floors were covered in concrete in 1884.
- South Africa’s is just less than twice the size of Texas.
- Nearly 50 million people live in South Africa.
- In 1948, South Africa’s National Party created a policy of apartheid, favoring the white minority at the expense of the black majority.
- Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994.
- Mandela spent decades in prison, primarily Robben Island, off Cape Town, for his activities with the ANC. He was released in 1990.