South Africa tries to block auction of Mandela memorabilia
A planned auction in the US of about 70 personal items belonging to South Africa's anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela may be stopped as the South African government has filed a motion in court to prevent its sale.
South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra), the body
charged with protecting the country's history and culture, says "it had
filed an appeal to block the sale" in December.
According to media reports, the controversial auction in
the US, now planned for 22 January by Mandela's eldest daughter, Makaziwe
Mandela includes a set of hearing aids, an ID card, gifts from world leaders
and some of the apartheid hero's clothing.
New York-based Guernsey's auction house has already listed them
for sale saying the shirt might sell for up to $70,000 and the hearing aids up
to $20,000. But items considered to be of national heritage cannot be taken out
of the country under South African law.
Zizi Kodwa, the country's minister for sport, arts and
culture ministry has said his ministry was backing the case "for the sake
of maintaining the country's rich heritage". "It is thus
important that we preserve the legacy of former President Mandela and ensure
that his life's work experiences remain in the country for generations to
come" Kodwa added in a statement.