Mosotho man claims he owns iconic car which drove Mandela from prison in 1990 - report

2020-02-18 19:24
Nelson Mandela and his then wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela raise their fists upon his release from Victor Verster prison after 27 years on 11 February 1990.

Nelson Mandela and his then wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela raise their fists upon his release from Victor Verster prison after 27 years on 11 February 1990. (Allan Tannenbaum//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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A man from Maseru, Lesotho, claims he owns the iconic silver Toyota Cressida which ferried Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela from the then-Victor Verster Prison in Paarl to the Cape Town City Hall on February 11, 1990.

According to the SABC the man, who was not named, claimed he bought the vehicle for R48 000 from a car dealer in Durban in 2009.

The man claimed that the dealership contacted him a few months later wanting to buy back the vehicle for R500 000.

He told Lesotho Times that a Mr Krishnapersadh, who owned the car dealership, said he and his friend Major John William Harding, who had been in charge of Robben Island when Mandela was imprisoned there, used the car to take care of the former president's needs.

The two allegedly kept the vehicle as authorities never asked for it back. 

READ | Freed Nelson Mandela | 30 years on: The legend and his legacy

According to Lesotho Times, Harding used the car when he moved to Centurion before handing it back to Krishnapersadh, who had moved to Durban. Here the car was registered and given the licence plate ND 232255. The two then allegedly decided to sell the car.

Lesotho Times spoke to Krishnapersadh's son, Sanjay Krishnapersadh. He said his father had died and he could vouch for the Mosotho man's claims that it was indeed the Cressida that transported Mandela 30 years ago. He also said he no longer spoke to Harding who had since moved.

Wheels24 earlier reported that the Cressida was sourced from the Protea Toyota dealership in Bellville, Cape Town.

The vehicle was a demo displayed on the showroom floor. It was later returned to the dealership where it was sold.

The vehicle then disappeared from the limelight, and who bought it remained a mystery.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  lesotho
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