Auction house suspends sale of Mandela items

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A New York-based auction house has suspended the sale of several items belonging to former South African President Nelson Mandela. Guernsey’s made the revelation with a note on its website simply stating that the auction had been suspended without further explanation. The collective value of the proposed auction was over R20 million.

The decision appears to have come in response to an outcry, particularly from the South African Government and the country’s Heritage Resource Agency, which had contested an earlier auction in 2022 but lost in the High Court a decision it intended to appeal.

That earlier auction was also suspended after a similar outcry.

The proposed 2024 auction, set for February 22, came after a deal was struck with the former President’s daughter Makaziwe and would have included such items as Madia’s 1993 green ID book, aviator sunglasses, and a blanket gifted by former US President Barack Obama among the approximately 70 items.