Nelson Mandela's cell not up for auction at CEO SleepOut - Robben Island

2018-07-04 20:13
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Nelson Mandela (Gallo Images)

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Nelson Mandela (Gallo Images)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Robben Island management has slammed reports that former president Nelson Mandela's cell will be auctioned at this year's CEO SleepOut, which is expected to be held at the prison. 

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 – 7 will be auctioned off for the night with bids opening at US$250 000.00."

It sparked a lot of debate and some said the sleepout was done in bad taste. 

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 July 18, however, Ranaboa said the organisers pulled out and asked for a postponement. 

It would have marked the day that Mandela turned 100.

According to Ramaboa, 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 could not be reached for comment, but spokesperson Liane McGowan told AFP: "The suggestion was to auction the cell to raise money to fund the Prison-to-College Pipeline... educating incarcerated people in South Africa."

She said that details of when the one night only fundraiser will take place, had not been finalised.

The auction is still advertised on their website.

"P2CP will receive funding from the auction of Mandela's Cell Number 7 on Robben Island and his outside bedroom at Liliesleaf Farm and Museum."

(Screengrab from

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  robben island

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.