Guernsey’s auction house in New York has stopped the sale of around 70 personal items belonging to Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid hero. These items, including his hearing aids, walking sticks, reading glasses, and ID book, were set to be auctioned on February 22. The decision to halt the auction comes after strong objections in South Africa.
Mandela’s daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, organized the auction to fund a memorial garden near his burial site. Despite a court challenge from the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra), the auction was initially allowed, prompting the agency to plan an appeal.
South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister, Zizi Kodwa, stressed the need to preserve Mandela’s legacy, calling him “integral to South Africa’s heritage.” Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, expressed opposition to the auction, particularly the sale of Mandela’s ID book, stating it robs South Africa of its heritage.
Nelson Mandela, a key anti-apartheid figure, spent almost 30 years in prison before becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994. His passing in 2013 marked the end of an era, and the debate over preserving his items reflects a broader struggle for heritage and national identity.