Celebrating the 27th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison

February 11th, 2017 will mark the 27th anniversary of former President Nelson Mandela’s historic release from the then Victor Verster Prison (now Drakenstein Correctional Services) and his internationally acclaimed and revered ‘walk to freedom’ after 27 years in prison.

The 2017-event will especially be significant since it will take place on Saturday, 11 February 2017, exactly 27 years to the day that the great Nelson R. Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa and father of our democracy, had walked from prison as a free person.

This date will also represent exactly 27-years that Madiba would have spent both sides of the prison bars, i.e. 27-years in prison and 27-years since his release from prison – from his incarceration in October 1963, his subsequent life imprisonment on 12 June 1964 and his eventual and world-famous release on 11 February 1990.

It is against this background that Drakenstein Correctional Services and its partners will stage a series of activities from Saturday 4th February 2017 to Sunday 12th February 2017 with the aim to signify Madiba’s triumph which essentially encapsulating man’s ability to transform hardship into hope, obstacles into opportunities and tribulation into triumph.

Just like the past seven years, Drakenstein Correctional Services will once again join forces with the Western Cape Government, Drakenstein Municipality, the Cape Winelands District Municipality, AVBOB, Nolitha, Old Mutual, KAP Industrial Holdings Ltd, Montis Blue Star Sanlam, and Media 24 to reminisce the revered steps that Madiba took on his way to freedom – what a historical moment!

Young and old, fit and unfit, urban and rural, are called to join the staff and residents at Drakenstein Correctional Services facility to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the release of our beloved former President, Nelson Mandela from the then Victor Verster Prison.

According to the Area Commissioner of the Drakenstein Correctional Services, director Jeremy Matheyse, the objective of the race remains to bring communities together to celebrate this historical moment as well as to challenge ordinary South Africans to build on the legacy and ideals of Madiba.

‘I therefore call upon all communities in and outside of the Cape Winelands precincts to make this year a special attempt to join us in honouring our greatest statesman by walking or running in Madiba’s footsteps as he began to walk out to freedom on that historical mid- summer afternoon on Sunday, 11 February 1990,’ Matheyse said.

Athletes and visitors can once again expect top quality entertainment, free of charge, which will include the likes of The Rockets and many other well-known faces. As per previous years there will furthermore also be huge festivities and a carnival atmosphere. For this very reason there will be a lot of food and novelty stalls, a kidz corner, and several on-the-spot prizes to be won!

The closing date for manual entries for the 10km and 27km is Sunday, 29th January 2017, whilst the online entries will close on Sunday, 05th February 2017. Entries for the 5km fun walk/run will continue until 08h00 of the morning of the race.

Entry forms are available at the Drakenstein Correctional Services facilities, Drakenstein Municipal offices, Sportsmans Warehouse-outlets and 3@1 shop in Paarl Mall. All on-line entries must be sent to www.27ForFreedom.co.za or www.topevents.co.za .

But, the 2017 event will not only be about the 27 for Freedom Race – the public can actually brace themselves for plenty of movement to and from the prison facility.

Director Matheyse was in fact adamant that the 7’s rugby competition will be spectacular and something to remember and will see 4 primary schools, 4 high schools and 8 community clubs go head-to-head to be crowned the inaugural champions.

Similarly, a visible elated Area Commissioner wishes to invite chess players from all walks of life, young and old, to compete in a unique 27-minutes aside rapid chess tournament. The overall category winners will furthermore playoff against the Western Cape Olympic Chess Players in some Chess-in-the-Park Exhibition Games.

“There will be many activities this time around, but our focus this year especially will be on children and youth, hence our collective and conscious efforts to involve and empower young people in a true Madiba manner,” Matheyse said.


Saturday 11th February 2016


Drakenstein Correctional Facility


27km- 6:30


10km- 07:00


Freedom Route
Run/Walk 5km- 09:00


50m Toddlers- 10:00

Parking arrangements for 2017 will include a huge parking area on the La Paris Farm, immediately opposite our access gate; thus no need for any shuttle services

Route Map

For more information

Contact Top Events on (021) 511 7130 or info@topevents.co.za