The South African government is trying to do everything it can to put a stop to the proposed auction where 70 of Nelson Mandela’s personal items will be sold.
The items are set to be auctioned in the United States and Madiba’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, is behind the auction.
Items that will go on auction include an ID card, gifts from world leaders, a set of hearing aids, and some of the former president’s clothing like his famous Madiba shirts.
The South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) says the auctioning off of the items is illegal because, under South African law, items that are considered to be of national heritage can’t be taken out of the country.
Sport, arts and culture minister Zizi Kodwa, said in a statement that stopping the auction is “integral to South Africa’s heritage”.
“It is thus important that we preserve the legacy of former President Nelson Mandela and ensure that his life’s work experiences remain in the country for generations to come.”
The issue has even gone to court when Ms Mandela was permitted to sell the items by the High Court in Pretoria.
The auction will take place on 22 January with the hearing aids set to reach up to $20,000.
Ms Mandela has said that proceeds from the auction will go towards the building of a memorial garden near Madiba’s burial site.
Image credit: NSS Magazine