“This key belongs to the folks of South Africa below the care of Robben Island Museum and the South African State. It isn’t anybody’s private belonging,” mentioned Mthethwa.
In response, the public sale home mentioned the proceeds of the sale are to elevate funds to construct a 24-acre memorial backyard and museum round Mandela’s burial website. Mandela’s oldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela-Amuah, approached Guernsey’s to maintain an public sale of Mandela memorabilia to assist construct the backyard, Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s, advised The Related Press.
“We’re honored to promote many objects from the Mandela household to assist them create the backyard,” Ettinger mentioned. The 33 objects to be auctioned embody one of Mandela’s colourful shirts, items from former U.S. presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, in addition to objects that he signed and paintings.
The key to his former jail cell is one of three objects put up for sale by Christo Model, Mandela’s Robben Island jailer.
A draft of South Africa’s structure that Mandela inscribed to Model and an train bicycle Mandela used have been additionally offered for the public sale by Model. Model’s consultant couldn’t be reached for remark Friday.
The key has been in Model’s possession for a few years and has been exhibited internationally, mentioned Ettinger. Mandela’s daughter has permitted its sale and a portion of the proceeds will go to the backyard fund, he mentioned.
“The key symbolizes the worst and the perfect of humanity,” mentioned Ettinger. “The key locked up Mr. Mandela for his opposition to racial oppression and that was horrendous. The key additionally freed him and he went from prisoner to president of South Africa and have become the inspiration for thousands and thousands of folks around the globe. It appears becoming that the sale of the key can now assist elevate funds to create a memorial round Mr. Mandela’s burial website.”
Mthethwa, the minister of tradition, mentioned he’ll take motion to cease the key’s public sale.
“The key have to be returned to its rightful house owners with speedy impact and this public sale have to be halted,” mentioned Mthethwa who added that he was discussing with authorities “acceptable steps that have to be taken to cease the public sale and to safe the return of the key to South Africa.”