Anant Singh buys up R950k of Mandela memorabilia

The producer of a new Nelson Mandela film bought on Wednesday a collection worth $95 000 of the former president's personal items, including his photograph with boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

The successful bidder at R950 000, Anant Singh, is the producer of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, on the life of the anti-apartheid hero to be released on Thursday.

The assortment of 79 signed mementos at the rare auction date from 1964 to 2010 and include the historic speech the peace icon delivered from the dock in 1964 during the Rivonia Trial that sent him to prison.

"I think it's a fair price. I think the seller got a good price, the buyer got a great price," said Alan Demby, president of the Johannesburg-based auction house Stephan Welz & Co.

"It's more about what [Mandela] represents than the actual items. It's not rare, it's almost priceless. And I think that's what makes it such a fascinating collection," Demby said.

The collection also includes Mandela's picture with ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela entering a packed stadium in Soweto to address supporters after his release from jail in 1990

A 1988 concert pass for Mandela's 70th birthday tribute at London's Wembley Stadium and a bottle of wine are also among the memorabilia.

Battling ill health
Mandela (95) is currently battling ill health under intensive care at his home, after spending almost three months in hospital receiving treatment for a recurring respiratory infection.

The biopic is largely based on Mandela's autobiography and traces the life of the revered leader from his childhood in the rural Eastern Cape to his election as the country's first black president in 1994. – AFP


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