No Sale: Auction Of Winnie Mandela’s Possessions Failed After There Are No Bidders Or Entry Into Home

May 24, 2013  |  

Source: Biography.com

The former First Lady of South Africa Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who is frequently called “mother of the nation,” is in debt and recently the court ordered that her possessions be auctioned off to help pay off the debt. But it seems no one was willing to take part. According to The Huffington Post, no one bid on the items, which included artworks and other belongings of Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife. And there were no locksmiths willing to unlock the doors to her home for the scheduled auction.

“Court sheriff John Maluleke and two other officials joined reporters gathered outside her gated home but were denied entry despite repeated ringing of the bell and banging on the metal gate,” reports HuffPo.  The auction was listed by attorney Stephen Karnavos of Alan Levy Attorneys. According to Karnavos, Mandela owes nearly R46,000 ($5,000), which includes the unpaid school fees for her niece plus interest, legal costs and sheriff’s fees. A check for the equivalent of $1,700 was paid to the law firm a day before the planned auction,  but the check has not  yet cleared, said Karnavos. As a member of South Africa’s Parliament, Madikizela-Mandela earns R900,000 (more than $95,000) annually.

The auction was called off after officials could not find a locksmith willing to force entry into Madikizela-Mandela’s home, a sheriff’s official told The Associated Press.

The anti-apartheid activist has had other legal problems. She was accused of allegedly ordering the kidnapping deaths of several young men in the 1980s and in 1991 she was found guilty in the kidnapping and assault of one youth who died of his injuries. The court sentenced her to six years in jail. After an appeal, she was found guilty of being an accessory in the assault and her sentence was reduced to a fine and a suspended prison term, reports the website.

Nelson Mandela and Madikizela-Mandela married in 1958 but his 27-year imprisonment by the apartheid  government separated the couple. They reunited when he was released in 1994 but divorced in 1997.

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