The Old Fort, built in 1892,served as a prison and, during the South African War, as a military defense post. With time, sections Four and Five, including the isolation cells, were added to accommodate black male prisoners. Later a Women’s Prison and an awaiting trial building was built in the precinct.
This complex of prisons held common criminals, miners, rebels and many famous political prisoners including Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, to name but a few.
Today, South Africa’s Constitutional Court stands on this site on top of tit, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.