LEADING FROM PRISON
On the evening of 31 March 1982 together with Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu, and Andrew Mlangeni, prison officials escorted Nelson Mandela to Pollsmoor prison, a few miles outside Cape Town, a modern establishment that hitherto held no political prisoners. For the next three years Mandela's new home would be Room 99, D Section, a large chamber, 30 by 50 feet equipped with beds and a separate toilet and bathroom section with two showers. Outside the room was a terrace enclosed by a high wall which after a few months the prisoners could use all day for exercise and recreation; at first, however, Mandela and his comrades were confined to the room for most of the time. Within a few weeks, they were joined by Ahmed Kathrada.
At first the men disliked their new premises. Despite more space and better washing arrangements, they resented losing their privacy, they did not enjoy spending so much time indoors, they missed the company of the other men, they disliked not having a view, and for some administrative reason they were forbidden to send telegrams— the best way of communicating urgent family business among a population largely without telephones. Outside there was only a view of the sky. The walls were newly plastered and damp; a chill Mandela contracted during his first days at Pollsmoor probably contributed to the tuberculosis with which he was diagnosed some years later. After her first visit to Pollsmoor, despite more courteous treatment and better communication facilities, Winnie felt that her husband was 'certainly worse off there than he was on the island'.1
The cell became all the more crowded when a sixth member