SA man pays R65 000 for Man­dela’s Unisa let­ter at auc­tion

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - th abang. m at hebula@wit­ness.co.za THA­BANG MATHEBULA

A FRE­NETIC auc­tion saw Nel­son Man­dela’s let­ter, found in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, sold for R65 000 at Can­non’s Auc­tion­eers yes­ter­day.

The let­ter was bought by a South African man whose name was not dis­closed.

He com­peted with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional bid­ders, from Amer­ica and the United King­dom, who made their bids over the phone.

The pre­sale es­ti­mate of the let­ter was R60 290.

The let­ter was orig­i­nally writ­ten by Nel­son Man­dela, while he was in­car­cer­ated at Robben Is­land, to the Univer­sity of South Africa in 1977.

In the let­ter, Man­dela had writ­ten to the regis­trar at Unisa in Pre­to­ria to sub­mit an as­sign­ment and in­quire about tu­to­ri­als.

Mean­while lo­cal res­i­dent Penny Del­port paid R5 000 for a pho­to­graph signed by Man­dela.

Can­non’s Auc­tion­eers’ Noe­lene Can­non said the phone bid­ders al­ways push for a high bid. “The mem­o­ra­bilia auc­tion is a sen­ti­men­tal thing. The woman who bought the pho­to­graph said her late fa­ther once met Nel­son Man­dela. I think that’s the rea­son peo­ple buy this items,” she said.

Can­non said she be­lieves both items fetched a fairly good price.

“I can’t re­mem­ber the last time we had such an ex­cit­ing auc­tion,” she said.

David Can­non told the The Wit­ness that the let­ter had been checked and au­then­ti­cated.

Can­non said he had ac­quired the let­ter from a Pi­eter­mar­itzburg man but he did not dis­close his name.

He said the man was a Unisa em­ployee at the time Man­dela posted the let­ter to the in­sti­tu­tion.

PHOTO: THA­BANG MATHEBULA

David Can­non of Can­non’s Auc­tion­eers at the auc­tion yes­ter­day.

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