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NFTs have been making headlines across the world as they’ve been selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes even more.

The latest NFT that got eyebrows raised was an NFT version of an arrest warrant for Nelson Mandela. The NFT sold for almost R2 million during a digital auction held in Cape Town last week.

The reserve price was R900,00 but was bought for much more by a foreign investor based in the United Arab Emirates. The buyer received a vertical digital token as proof that the artwork is original.

The original arrest warrant has been safely guarded at the Liliesleaf Farm heritage site in Johannesburg since 2006. Due to financial difficulties, Liliesleaf had to shut its doors in September 2021.

Between 1961 and 1963, the landmark farm in an upscale northern Johannesburg suburb served as the secret headquarters and nerve centre of the then banned ANC, which led the fight against white-minority rule in South Africa, reports RTE.

Ahren Posthumus, CEO of the digital auctioneer Momint that handled the auction, said that proceeds for the Mandela NFT will “go to Liliesleaf museum to keep their doors open and stay afloat”.

RTE reports that the original document, dated 1961, now yellowed, with gnarled edges and bearing staple holes on one side, is handwritten in both English and Afrikaans.

Image credit: NFT Plazas

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