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Celebrating Human Rights Day with Madiba’s former prison guard, Christo Brand

TCH-HohenortBuildingFront-002-DOOK-NEW-sBack by popular demand after a sold-out event held in honour of Mandela Day 2019, fascinating keynote speaker Christo Brand returns to The Cellars-Hohenort in Constantia, Cape Town this Human Rights Day 2020. Brand is a South African former prison guard who was one of several responsible for guarding Nelson Mandela. The Cellars-Hohenort hotel is hosting a special evening with Brand on 21 March 2020 to commemorate a day – and a man – that changed the history of the country. Brand will share the story of how his friendship with Madiba began and regale guests with tales South Africa’s best-loved icon.


This one-night-only event takes the form of a talk accompanied by a six-course dinner at The Conservatory restaurant, which will be prefaced by welcome drinks at 19h00. Here, Brand will set the scene, describing how he met Mandela. As one of the few people who knew Mandela intimately, he is well placed to give us a rare glimpse into the man’s life, in a relaxed and comfortable setting.


The Conservatory’s Executive Chef, Paul Nash has prepared a unique dinner menu based on a combination of Mandela’s favourite foods and dishes inspired by his time on Robben Island. The six-course dinner starts off with amuse bouche and bread baked in a tin, which will set the tone for the meal to follow. The bite-sized hors d’oeuvre are followed by two starters: “Soft egg and Potatoes” with crispy potatoes, smoked potato, fynbos herb essence and coal dust; and “Robben Island Rock Pool” that incorporates grilled octopus, pickled calamari, black mussels and seaweed.


The main meal presents a modern twist on the South African traditional meal of pap. “Roasted Mielie Pap Under the Stars” features roasted pap, corn purée, grilled corn and chakalaka. “Nelson’s Hidden Chicken Curry” is Malay-spiced seared chicken Ballotine, served with a curry velouté and apricot blatjang.


Dessert is a sweet and wonderful treat of rum and raisin ice cream served with homemade biscuit crumble and a koeksister.


After each delectable course, Brand will continue the story, right up until Mandela’s passing, when he put his hands on the great man’s coffin and reflected on the beautiful friendship they formed.


Brand first came to Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned, in 1978. He was just 19 at the time. In 1982, he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison along with Mandela, and it was here that they developed a bond over the course of many years.


Brand retired from Robben Island on 31 July 2018 to pursue his love of telling stories about his time with Mandela.


There will be a book signing after the dinner for those who would like to come away with copy of the book that Brand co-authored with Barbara Jones, Doing Life with Mandela: My Prisoner, My Friend (2014). Copies of the book are sold separately and are not included in the dinner price.

This Human Rights Day, join us at The Cellars-Hohenort as we celebrate the life of an extraordinary man who championed human rights throughout his lifetime. A percentage of the proceeds of this event will be donated to Sisters Incorporated, an organization that aims to help women, teenagers and children in crisis heal physically, emotionally and spiritually.


The cost of this unmissable experience is R595 per person, excluding drinks. Bookings are essential as places are limited.

To book please call 021 794 2137 or email

Nelson Mandela with Christo Brand 2 


About The Cellars-Hohenort


A Relais & Châteaux hotel, The Cellars-Hohenort is part of The Liz McGrath Collection. This five-star destination is located in an area that is known as ‘Cape Town’s Vineyard’ – the historical Constantia Valley, only 15 minutes’ drive from Cape Town’s city centre. The hotel features 51 elegant guest rooms and suites, including a two-bedroom Villa and the exclusive Madiba Villa, with three bedrooms, a dining room, lounge with fireplace, private pool, and a service kitchen and bar. All rooms boast breathtaking views of South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain range and the property’s extraordinary gardens.


Two award-winning restaurants, Greenhouse and The Conservatory, take guests on an unforgettable culinary journey. Greenhouse has been consistently ranked as one of the South Africa’s top restaurants by the prestigious Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.


Stepping in from the natural backdrop of the lush gardens, the Fresh Wellness Spa is a space for guests to unwind and enjoy a selection of pampering signature treatments using indigenous ingredients and authentic spa techniques.


To ensure the most comfortable of stays, The Cellars-Hohenort features two pools, a tennis court and Sun Lounge – as well as its own vineyards. The hotel presents the perfect location for weddings and special functions.



Tel: +27 21 794 2137


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For media information please contact:
Louise De Kock, SCOUT PR & SOCIAL MEDIA, Cape Town, South Africa

T: + 27 (0) 21 685 0169