The wind-swept island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned reverberated with romance Tuesday as 22 couples were married in a special Valentine's Day ceremony.
The weddings stand as testimony to the government's determination to make Robben Island, a symbol of fear and hatred during the apartheid era, into a monument to love and reconciliation in the new democratic South Africa.
A homeless couple and a pair infected with the AIDS virus were among those tying the knot at the ceremony in a small chapel on the island. A government official said that next year, homosexual couples would be invited following a constitutional court ruling that same sex marriages should be legalized.
The prison where the African National Congress leader and many others was imprisoned is now a museum, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.
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