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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

Mandela’s Houghton house to be rezoned into a business property

Mashawana said experts were already doing assessments of the damage to the house and planning the renovations.

The Nelson Mandela house in Houghton north of Johannesburg will be rezoned into a business property and turned into a museum before the end of the year.

Collen Mashawana foundation intervenes

This was confirmed by the Collen Mashawana Foundation which is in charge of the renovation of the Mandela house.

ALSO READ: Mandela family declines government’s offer to renovate late statesman’s Joburg mansion

In an interview with The Citizen, Mashawana said experts were already doing assessments of the damage to the house and planning the renovations.

“We have targeted Mandela Day as the launch of the Museum. Obviously, we will need certain approval from government, we have to rezone the property from residential to business so we are planning the museum to launch on the 18th of July,” Mashawana said.

Heritage experts were also being brought on board to ensure that the original house is not affected by the renovations which were expected to cost millions of rands.

“That is what we are trying to do at all costs – maintain the original state of the house but, obviously, make it user-friendly for people to be able to see how Tata lived,” he said.

Mashawana said he took up the project to renovate Madiba’s house as a sign of respect to the late statesman. He said the foundation had been contacted by at least one company that wanted to donate paint towards the house renovations.

Mandela house in a poor state

According to Mashawana the house was badly damaged with some out buildings expected to be rebuilt.

“There is a lot of damage on the property. There are cracked boundary walls [and these] will have to be demolished completely. Some of these things will have to be take down. There are outside structures that need to be reconstructed,” Mashawana said.

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

Contradictions among family members

One of Mandela’s grand children Mbuso Mandela confirmed to eNCA that the Mandela house would become a museum.

But it seemed like some of the family members were not on the same page. Ndileka Mandela told The Citizen that the family was still to discuss the idea of the house becoming a museum.

“The family has not decided yet what the house will be. Fow now, we are doing phase one – which is the renovations,” Ndileka said.

The Mandelas have been under fire for commercialising the legacy of their father and grandfather. Earlier this year, there was a public outcry over some of Madiba’s personal belongings being auctioned in New York. Some of the items included personal things such as his ID book and hearing aids.

The Mandela family were beneficiaries of Mandela’s estate which stood at about R50 million.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation declined to comment on the Mandela house indicating that it was a private home and, therefore, it was upon the Mandela family to comment.

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Business heritage Nelson Mandela (Madiba)