This comes after a poster did the rounds on social media, bearing the words: “Robben Island room bid. In addition, the once in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep in Madiba’s personal cell number – seven will be auctioned off for the night with bids opening at $250 000 (R3,4 million).”
It sparked a lot of debate and some said the sleepout was done in bad taste.
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Robben Island spokesperson Morongoa Ranaboa said they were a World Heritage Site and would “never ever offer anyone Mandela’s cell”.
“We can’t do that. We’ve got so many bodies that we are accountable to and it belongs to the nation. So, what right would we have to auction Mandela’s cell – or any cell for that matter.”
The sleepout was supposed to be held on 18 July. However, Ranaboa said the organisers had pulled out and asked for a postponement.
It would have marked the day that Mandela turned 100.
According to Ranaboa, the organisers asked for a postponement to November.
Sixty-seven South African and international influencers, business leaders and celebrities were invited to participate in the event at the maximum-security prison.
“We haven’t received any provisional booking from them and we don’t know to when they actually want to postpone to. At this stage, we are still waiting on them,” she said.
The CEO SleepOut Movement was not reached for comment.
– News24 Wire