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South Africa outraged at auction of Nelson Mandela's cell door key: 'Painful'

South Africa outraged at auction of Nelson Mandela’s cell door key: ‘Painful’

Nelson Mandela in his cell on Robben Island, during a visit with US President Bill Clinton in 1998. © AP

A planned auction of the key to Nelson Mandela’s cell has sparked outrage. South Africa describes it as incomprehensible that the Guernsey auction house would cooperate in the sale of the historic piece.

GVsource: Belgian

The key is the masterpiece auction scheduled for January 28. The item was reportedly sold by a former prison guard, Christo Brand. It concerns the key to a prison cell on Robben Island, where Mandela was held for years.

South Africa has reacted furiously to the auction that will be held in the New York-based city of Guernsey. Culture Minister Nathi Methwa said the auction house was “clearly aware of the painful history of our country and the symbolic value of the key”. He stated that the thing belonged to the people of South Africa, not to individuals.

Former President Mandela is seen as a national hero in South Africa. As an activist, he opposed the apartheid regime in his country, where apartheid was practiced. Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95.

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