Many couples who were looking forward to the annual and historic ‘Robben Island Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony have been disappointed by the event being cancelled for the year 2021.
This after Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, announced the temporary suspension of applications for IDs, passports, and marriage services due, to the increasing numbers of Department of Home Affairs (DHA) staff testing positive for Covid-19.
According to Robben Island spokesperson Morongoa Ramaboa, this year would have marked 21 years of celebrating love on the Island.
“Last year, 19 couples tied the knot with a historic milestone of Frankford Williams and Cindi Mullins, who are visually impaired, officially being the first couple in South Africa to receive their marriage certificate in braille,” said Ramaboa in a statement.
Ramaboa said that 327 couples have tied the knot on Robben Island during the 20 years partnership between Robben Island Museum (RIM) and DHA.
“The weddings were first initiated by the late Martha Mgxashe, former Regional Director at the DHA, with the first marriage ceremony held on 31 December 2000 as part of the Millennium Celebrations.
“In 2001, the ceremony was moved to Valentine’s Day to promote the significance of Robben Island with the establishment of our democracy,” added Ramaboa.
Ramaboa said that the Minister’s announcement wasn’t the only thing delaying the weddings, as Covid-19 regulations have also had a significant affected.
Ramaboa said things might change should the Covid-19 regulations eventually be eased.
“RIM and DHA will continue to engage on the possibility of hosting the weddings at a later stage, should conditions allow with the easing of Covid-19 regulations,” said Ramaboa.