Panafrican News Agency

Robben Island rejects Mandela sleep-over reports

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – The management of Robben Island, South Africa’s notorious aparthheid-era prison, has slammed media reports that former President Nelson Mandela's cell will be auctioned for a sleep over at the prison on what would have been his 100th birthday.

This after a fake advertisement which went viral on social media said the auction would offer “the once in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep in Madiba's personal cell” and bidding would open at US$250,000.

The organisers were quoted as saying some of the money raised in the auction will be given to a US group providing prisoners with access to public university-level education.

Robben Island spokesperson Morongoa Ranaboa said the offer would be in bad taste and illegal because the entire island is a world heritage site.

The sleep-out was supposed to be held on 18 July which marks the 100 anniversary of the world statesman’s birth. The island, which is located in Table Bay within swimming distance of Cape Town, served as a leper colony and prison for three centuries. It is now a popular tourist destination with hundreds of thousands of visitors.
-0- PANA CU/MA 5July2018