Home Arts & Culture Nelson Mandela memorabilia auctioned in Johannesburg ahead of his 96th birthday

Nelson Mandela memorabilia auctioned in Johannesburg ahead of his 96th birthday

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A collection of unusual items signed by Nelson Mandela is being auctioned in Johannesburg.

The lots include a chess set, of figures from either side of the apartheid battle, and salt and pepper shakers of Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.

The sale items are expected to raise around $450,000 for charity.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died in December aged 95, was revered around the world for fighting minority rule in his country.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, before being released in 1990 by FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last white ruler.

Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 and stepped down in 1999

Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down in 1999

He became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and stepped down in 1999.

The auction of 202 lots is being held on the eve of what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 96th birthday.


“Nelson Mandela signed many, many, many things. And that’s what I like about it [the auction],” said Savo Tufegdzic of Stephan Welz & Co, the firm that will put the items under the hammer.

“People always look for autographs, but there are only a handful of items signed by those celebrities. In the case of Nelson Mandela, every person can own a piece of him.”

The chess set has pieces depicting Nelson Mandela, his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu facing off against apartheid leaders.

The set, which has some pieces missing, is thought to be worth between $950 and $1,400, the South African Press Association (SAPA) news agency reports.

The auction also includes objects ranging from statues, photographs, refrigerator magnets, ostrich eggs, medals, books and even a batch of 850 Chinese telephone cards emblazoned with Nelson Mandela’s image.

Some of the money raised would go to the Foundation for Rural Development run by Nelson Mandela’s grand-daughter Ndileka Mandela, SAPA reports.

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