NFT of Mandela's arrest warrant raises $130K at auction

A token based on Nelson Mandela's original arrest warrant helped raise 1.9 million rand ($130K) for a heritage site that chronicles South Africa's fight for democracy.

NFT of Mandela's arrest warrant raises $130K at auction

A token based on Nelson Mandela's original arrest warrant helped raise 1.9 million rand ($130K) for a heritage site that chronicles South Africa's fight for democracy.

Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after spending 27 years in prison, was arrested in 1962 for conspiring to overthrow the White minority government.

Mumint, the marketplace for NFTs that sold the Mandela item, announced that the proceeds will be donated to Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site, which has held the original document since 2004.

A pen gun belonged to fellow freedom fighter Oliver Tambo was auctioned off last year, raising about $50K for the museum.

According to Posthumus, this helps ensure that the museums stay afloat:

"COVID19 has caused a significant drop in tourism for the area. Thus, this is a way to keep history alive while revitalizing their flow."

A multiracial election was held four years after Mandela was released from prison.

"Liliesleaf Museum will be able to offer exclusive access to the original document to the buyer of the NFT," said Posthumus. "A high-definition scan shows the ink through the paper," he continued.

Liliesleaf farm, situated then on the outskirts of Johannesburg, was used by the African National Congress as its secret headquarters from 1961. Mandela and other ANC leaders hid there from authorities. Police raided the place in 1963 and arrested leading activists.

Caricatures featuring monkeys and lions command prices in the millions of dollars, as NFTs have soared in popularity.

Various sports clubs, prestige automakers, and even pop stars are now into NFTs, which uses blockchain technology to validate unique ownership tokens associated with otherwise easily replicable digital goods.