‘Robbing the children of SA’- Mandela’s grandson slams ‘disgraceful’ auction
"Who sells their father's ID book? That's insane. You're robbing South Africa of its heritage," Ndaba Mandela said.
The late statesman Nelson Mandela. Photo: Neil McCartney
Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Ndaba, has joined the outrage over an auction of the former president’s belongings, calling it a disgrace.
Mandela’s daughter, and Ndaba’s aunt, Makaziwe recently won a two-year legal battle against the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) in her bid to auction off some of Mandela’s personal items.
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 a heritage item.
Nearly 100 items owned by Mandela will go on auction on Monday, following the court’s decision, with proceeds reportedly going to fund a memorial garden in the Eastern Cape.
Who sells their father’s ID book?
Speaking to News24, Ndaba questioned why a child would sell off her father’s ID.
“This is robbing the children of our country… from being able to engage with where Madiba came from and how he lived.
“Who sells their father’s ID book? That’s insane. You’re robbing South Africa of its heritage.”
He labelled the auction a “disgrace” and “an abomination”.
“Those items need to be in a museum where people can visit them. People would be happy to pay a fee to see those items, which would make money in perpetuity”.
They’re trying to steal things that don’t belong to them
Makaziwe remained firm, saying: “Every time they’ve gone to court, they [Sahra] have lost. They don’t have any leg to stand on. They’re trying to steal things that don’t belong to them,” she was quoted by The New York Times as saying.
‘Preserve Mandela’s legacy’
Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa argued the items should remain in South Africa.
“Former president Nelson Mandela is integral to South Africa’s heritage. His life, experiences and legacy live in our consciousness and in the values we promote as a country. It is thus important that we preserve the legacy of former president Mandela and ensure that his life’s work and experiences remain in the country for generations to come.
“It is important for us to record and tell our stories to deepen our heritage. The legacy of former president Mandela, and many others who have contributed to get South Africa where it is today as a free, democratic and culturally diverse nation, cannot be forgotten.
“It is therefore critical to support the intervention by SAHRA for the sake of maintaining the country’s rich heritage,” said Kodwa.