Auction of Nelson Mandela’s possessions suspended
Interested parties agreed to suspend the auction to allow the ongoing legal proceedings around the matter to be finalised.
South African anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela waves to the press as he arrives at the Elysee Palace, 07 June 1990, in Paris, to have talks with French president Francois Mitterrand. (Photo by MICHEL CLEMENT and DANIEL JANIN / AFP)
The 74 personal items belonging to former statesmen and struggle icon Nelson Mandela will not be auctioned off anytime soon.
This is as Guernsey’s Auction House and Madiba’s daughter, Dr Makaziwe, agreed to suspend the auction to allow the ongoing legal proceedings around the matter to be finalised.
This came after the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) stepped in to negotiate with the parties.
“Sahra welcomes the decision by Guernsey’s Auction House to suspend the auction,” the agency said.
“This decision aligns with our commitment to the conservation of South Africa’s cultural heritage, and we appreciate the recognition of the sensitivity surrounding these significant artefacts.
“As Sahra pursues the application for leave to appeal the recent High Court judgment related to the export of heritage objects, the suspension of the auction is a responsible and considerate approach.
“It allows the ongoing legal proceedings to be concluded and affords SAHRA the opportunity to pursue its objective of preserving the cultural heritage of our nation.
“We value the cooperation of Guernsey’s Auction House in this matter.”
Auction long in the pipeline
The agency sought to interdict Makaziwe and Mandela’s former prison warder, Christo Brand, from auctioning the items, which include shirts, shoes, glasses, hearing aids, and his green ID book used during the historic 1994 elections. The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria overturned the interdict, saying not all objects owned by a historical person can be considered heritage items.
Additional reporting by Kyle Zeeman