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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

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

Mandela's house in Houghton has been left abandoned, with neighbours complaining about its delipidated state.

The family of struggle icon Nelson Mandela will become beneficiaries of a home makeover courtesy of the Gauteng government.

This comes after Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced on Monday that the province would be meeting with the Mandela family to discuss the renovation of the Johannesburg home of the late statesman.

Mandela’s mansion becomes an embarrassment

The house on 12th Avenue in Houghton has been left abandoned with Mandela’s grandchildren having moved out in 2020.

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According to reports, residents around the house have complained about the delipidated state of the property with overgrown grass, damage to the structure of the house and piled-up rubbish.

Lesufi said he was concerned about the poor state of the Mandela mansion.

Where did the Mandela money go?

The bulk of Mandela’s R46m estate was left to his wife Graca Machel. The former president’s daughters also got at least R3m each. The Mandela properties, including the Houghton home, are part of a family trust and can be used by all family members.

The house has hosted a number of high-profile international guests and is an attraction for tourists who gather and take photos outside the house.

“We do not want to interfere in the family affairs of Mandela, we really believe that the house of our founding president can’t be left unattended in that particular fashion. We have now taken a decision that we will meet with the family so that that house can be restored to its original state,” Lesufi said.

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When asked why the Gauteng government was bailing out the Mandela family, Lesufi’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said it was an important historical site.

“The provincial government is committed to restoring historical sites like the Walter Sisulu Square and the Mandela House. They are important to the history of the country and the province,” Pamla said.

Pamla was asked whether the Gauteng government would continue to fund the upkeep of the house, considering it is a private property that belongs to the Mandela family.

“It will depend on discussion between the Mandela family and the province,” he said.

Pamla declined to comment on whether a precedent was being set by the Gauteng government to renovate the private homes of struggle stalwarts and other icons.

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