News World News

Friday 21 September 2018

Group apologises over auction to spend night in Mandela’s cell

The CEO SleepOut raises money for the homeless and had offered the highest bidder a night in the cell on Robben Island.

The prison on Robben Island, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
The prison on Robben Island, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A South African organisation that was auctioning a night in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell has apologised and removed the event from its website.

The CEO SleepOut raises money for the homeless and had offered the highest bidder a night in the cell on Robben Island, where the anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner spent 18 years.

Bids had begun at 250,000 US dollars for the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

ipanews_73ce49ab-5128-417e-989b-52bdb8e0eb0c_embedded917095
Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in the prison (PA)

The auction raised an outcry among some in South Africa, with a Robben Island Museum spokeswoman telling local media there had been no agreement to use the cell.

“So brazenly in bad taste, there are no words,” local photographer Victor Dlamini said on Twitter.

A statement offered “sincere apologies” but the organisation’s website said the Robben Island event has been postponed, not cancelled.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News