The village of Groot Drakenstein was probably established in the late 1850s. Following the acquisition of a number of fruit farms in the valley by Cecil John Rhodes, the area began to develop as an important fruit-growing centre. The Groot Drakenstein Prison is situated in Paarl in Cape Town, South Africa. The prison looks more like a boys school than a prison, with beautiful mountainous backdrops and wineyards all around. This Groot Drakenstein Prison was formerly known as Victor Verster Prison and is a working prison and has become well known for the fact that Nelson Mandela was incarcerated here. Mandela also took his steps to freedom through these gates in 1990. The prison has a huge bronze statue of Mandela with his fist held high to commemorate that day of freedom and as a tribute to those who were involved in the sacrificial fight for freedom.