Guernsey’s auction house in New York has halted the sale of approximately 70 personal items belonging to South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela.
The auction, titled “Mandela, The Auction SUSPENDED,” was abruptly stopped without an explanation. The decision comes in response to public outcry in South Africa.
Makaziwe Mandela, the eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela, had planned to auction items such as his hearing aids, walking sticks, and reading glasses on February 22.
She aimed to use the proceeds to fund a memorial garden near his burial site. The South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) contested her decision in court but lost the case. Sahra intends to appeal the ruling.
South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa said that blocking the sale was necessary as Mr. Mandela “is integral to South Africa’s heritage.”
He said it is important to preserve the legacy of former President Mandela and ensure that his life’s work experiences remain in the country for generations to come.
Mr. Mandela’s grandson, Ndaba, was quoted by local media as saying he too was opposed to the auction.
Mr. Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95.
He was imprisoned for nearly 30 years for fighting white-minority rule and became South Africa’s first black president in 1994.