Inaugural Flag returns home

The Inaugural Flag, a piece of South African history that came close to being auctioned off in the UK earlier this year, will from now on be displayed at the University of Stellenbosch.

The flag was flown at the inauguration of former President Nelson Mandela. It bears his signature and those of his then Deputy Presidents – Thabo Mbeki and FW De Klerk. It will be handed over to the university by Arts and Culture Minister, Lulu Xingwana.

According to the Department of Arts and Culture, the flag was to be auctioned at Bonhams in the UK, but Giuseppe Ciucci, the chairperson of the Stonehage Charitable Trust, stepped in to help save the flag.

Instead of being auctioned, the flag was sold to Ciucci for an undisclosed amount. Ciucci then donated the flag to the South African government.

An investigation is now underway to determine how this heritage item found its way to the auctioneers, the department said.

The flag was flown from a helicopter during Mandela’s inauguration at the Union Buildings in May 1994. It was expected to fetch between R120 000 and R180 000 during the auction.

Source: BuaNews,


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