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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

Concerns raised over public funds for Mandela home renovation

A dispute among members of the Mandela family has led to the dilapidation of the Mandela family home in Johannesburg.

The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation (JHF) has raised concerns about public funds being used to renovate the private home of the Mandela family in Johannesburg.

ALSO READ: Gauteng government to fund renovation of Mandela’s house after family abandons it

Nelson Mandela’s house on 12th avenue in Houghton has attracted negative media coverage due to the poor state of the upkeep and its abandonment by Mandela’s grandchildren, who previously resided there.

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi announced last week that the province would assist the Mandela family in renovating the house.

However, David Fleminger from the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation told The Citizen that there were issues with public funds being used where there would be no public benefit.

Why should the public pay for the Mandela renovation?

“As the foundation we still have concerns in using public funds for what still is a private house and that really does not go with the way that things should be done,” Fleminger said.

He said that if public funds are used for the Mandela house, there needs to be some type of public benefit, such as access.

ALSO READ: Mandela 10-year death anniversary: SA’s ‘moral compass’ vs quality of country’s democracy

“There should be at least some usage plan some management plan that allows the public to have access to that house otherwise where is the public benefit why are we using public funds on that house especially when the owners of the house are caught up in an inheritance battle,” he said.

Fleminger said that if public funds are to be used for the Mandela house, a management plan is essential, given that public money would be involved.

Family feud over Mandela’s house

According to Fleminger, the Mandela house is caught up in a legal battle between family members, which is another reason for its abandonment.

He mentioned that the house could be worth at least R6 million if sold, but its current poor condition affects its value, notwithstanding its heritage and potential business value.

“The price would be affected now because the house is in a poor condition,” he said.

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Gauteng Nelson Mandela (Madiba) Panyaza Lesufi

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