Unless they were issued at a time when the world was blind to the commitment that a former persona-non-grata had to the fight for equal rights, a person who would eventually be celebrated the world over for his visionary leadership – someone like Nelson Mandela.
It is exactly one of these documents, an application that Mandela be arrested, that will be sold tomorrow by Consolidated Auction Group at its auction of collectables.
The application was submitted when he was in one of his first presidential guises, as leader of the banned African National Congress Youth League.
The document is dated May 9, 1961, the same year Mandela went underground, and applies to the magistrate of Johannesburg for Mandela to be arrested for contravening Section 2 of Act eight of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1953.
It is not the application for the warrant of arrest that led to Mandela’s arrest more than a year later, on August 5, 1962, in Howick. Nevertheless, its historical significance in the timeline of a liberal luminary cannot be discounted.
It is expected to receive top bids in the interesting mix of high-value, rare South African artifacts, such as the Anglo-Boer War Krag-Jørgensen rifle that belonged to Gideon Fourie, cousin of executed rebel leader Jopie Fourie.
The Consolidated Collectables sale starts at noon on Saturday and will be held at 10 President Street in Germiston. For more information call 011-872-1890 or 082-564-7051, or go to cagauctions.co.za.