South Africa wants to stop upcoming sale of Mandela’s cell key — Analysis

The South African minister of sports, arts and culture has called on Guernsey’s Auction to not go ahead with the sale of the key to Nelson Mandela’s prison cell, saying that it “belongs to the people of South Africa.”

New-York based Guernsey’s auction house earlier announced that on January 28, it will conduct an “Amazing auction” of objects relating to South Africa’s first black president, with few items able to rival the importance of Mandela’s Robben Island cell key.

This Key was the one that held Mandela prisoner and led to Mandela’s release and ascension to the presidency. And with Mandela’s rise, so rose the hopes and dreams of countless millions around the world,” Guernsey’s said.

In response to the auction house’s announcement, South African Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa issued a statement on Friday, saying it is “Incomprehensible” for Guernsey’s, considering the country’s “An awful past,” to put it up for sale without consulting with the South African authorities or Robben Island Museum.

Former Trump ‘fixer’ to auction prison badge as NFT

The key is owned by the South African people, Robben Island Museum, and South African State. It is not anyone’s personal belonging,” Mthethwa said, as quoted by the media.

Minister Sullivan said that the government had been considering asking the auction house for a cancellation of the sale.

Arlan Ettinger, the president of Guernsey’s, responded, telling AP that the proceeds of the sale will go towards building a memorial garden and museum near Mandela’s burial site in the village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape province. It was the former president’s oldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela-Amuah, who approached Guernsey’s to conduct the sale of her father’s memorabilia. The key is one of three items offered by Christo Brand, Mandela’s jailer, who eventually became his close friend.

Mandela was in prison for 27 years, 18 of which were on Robben Island. This is the place Mandela lived before the end of apartheid, which Mandela had fought against all his life. Besides the key, Guernsey’s is offering Mandela’s iconic Madiba shirt and his eyeglasses, along with gifts from US Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Share this story via social media



Related Articles

Back to top button