Garrison Church, which accommodates 100 people and is located at the village opposite the post office on the island, was packed to capacity as the couples’ families and friends joined in the celebrations.

Addressing the couples, Minister of Home Affairs Dr Siyabonga Cwele, said: “Indeed, there is nothing better than love. Our beautiful couples could not have chosen a more storied place to cement their love than Robben Island.”

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“Robben Island was previously a symbol of suffering, but today it is recognised as a monument of love. Indeed, it is a triumph of human spirit over adversity,” he said.

Robben Island Museum’s chief heritage officer, Pascall Taruvinga, added: “This is the beginning of the journey to discover yourselves. The road is not entirely easy, but it is the two of you that have made vows to take this journey together, to coexist and learn from each other.”

One of the couples, Jon-Peter and Lydia Present, said the day was special to them because they had been trying to get married on Robben Island for the past three years.

“I feel that Robben Island is a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit which gives us hope for the future,” Lydia said.

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After their celebratory meal, the couples were treated to a tour of the island before returning to Nelson Mandela Gateway as newlyweds.

Cape Town Big 6 also sponsored access to their attractions to make the couples’ love month memorable.

Robben Island spokesperson Morongoa Ramaboa said the island was a unique location for couples to get married.

“It is a place that is associated with the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, which is something marriage surely needs,” she said.