Cape Argus on February 07, 2005 on 2005-02-11"color:#ffffff" href="" target="_blank">Cape Argus on February 07, 2005 on 2005-02-11" />
One-time offer: buy your own jail

For Sale: Jail in attractive setting, suitable for B&B, R1,5-million secures.

The unusual property has been put on the market by Louise Malherbe of Riversdale in the Western Cape, a farmer and former teacher.

She inherited the old Riversdale jail from her father, vegetable farmer Mattheus Koen, about five years ago.

The family bought the 709 square metre jail from the jail board in 1984 after it was closed.

Koen used it as a storage facility for his farm. He also rented out storage space.

Malherbe said the buyer could turn the place into a tourist attraction in the small town of Riversdale.

Her initial plan was to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast and coffee shop, but she decided she could not to run the business herself because of her age.

"I've now decided to sell, because I don't think I still have the energy to run a new business," Malherbe said.

"This is the only privately owned jail in the Western Cape. It is a special, extraordinary old building made out of sandstone with very old oak trees in front of it. My father also planted avocado and banana trees.

"What could be nicer than taking your children to have tea in the old jail?"

According to the jail records, the only person hanged at the jail was Gilbert Hay of Heidelberg, for the murder of his mother.

The jail has 33 cells, each with its own lock, as well as a big kitchen and a lounge.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Argus on February 07, 2005