February 21, 2024

BY MOGOMOTSI MAGOMEJ

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The deliberate public sale of dozens of artifacts belonging to Nelson Mandela has been suspended pending a courtroom software to utterly halt it, the physique that protects South Africa’s cultural heritage stated Tuesday.

The on-line public sale had been scheduled by New York-based Guernsey’s public sale home on Feb. 24, along side Dr Makaziwe Mandela, the eldest daughter of the anti-apartheid icon and South Africa’s first democratically elected president who died in 2013.

It had acquired widespread criticism from the general public and the South African authorities, which is supporting a courtroom software by the South African Heritage Sources Company, or SAHRA, to enchantment an earlier courtroom judgment that gave the public sale the go-ahead.

Gadgets listed for the public sale embrace Mandela’s iconic Ray-Ban sun shades and “Madiba” shirts, private letters he wrote from jail, in addition to a blanket gifted to him by former U.S. President Barack Obama and his spouse Michelle.

A champagne cooler that was a gift from former U.S. President Invoice Clinton was additionally on the checklist, with bidding for it beginning at $24,000. Additionally among the many gadgets is Mandela’s “ebook” — his identification doc following his 1993 launch from jail.

On its web site, Guernsey’s described the deliberate public sale as “nothing wanting outstanding,” and stated that proceeds can be used for the constructing of the Mandela Memorial Backyard in Qunu, the village the place he’s buried.

A be aware on the auctioneers’ web site on Tuesday indicated that the public sale had been suspended with out offering any additional particulars.

SAHRA stated in assertion that the suspension is a results of its engagement with Dr. Mandela and the public sale home.

The company is awaiting the end result of an software for depart to enchantment the choice by the North Gauteng Excessive Courtroom in Pretoria to let the public sale go forward, dismissing an interdict by the company in December final yr.

The company argues that the gadgets to be auctioned are the nation’s cultural heritage artifacts and must be preserved for future generations as an alternative of being offered to the best bidder.