The key was used by the jailer, Christo Brand (pictured with Mandela in 1998), who became his friend, and who is now selling the small metal key more than seven years after Mandela's death. To use text or photos please contact Jamie Pyatt News Ltd - details below.
The key was used by the jailer, Christo Brand (pictured with Mandela in 1998), who became his friend, and who is now selling the small metal key more than seven years after Mandela's death. To use text or photos please contact Jamie Pyatt News Ltd - details below.

The key to the jail cell in which South Africa’s legendary Nelson Mandela was locked for almost two decades is set to possibly fetch more than £1-million at an auction next month.

Key that locked up Nelson Mandela is set to sell for £1 million
The key was used by the jailer, Christo Brand, pictured who became Mandela’s friend, and who is now selling the small metal key more than seven years after Mandela’s death. To use any of the text or photos, please contact Jamie Pyatt News Ltd.

It comes from the maximum-security prison on Robben Island, near Cape Town, where the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former South African president spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars.

The key is being sold by Christo Brand, the white prison warder who became friends with Mr Mandela while guarding him during his incarceration.

Key that locked up Nelson Mandela is set to sell for £1 million
In 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment at the age of 46, initially on Robben island where he would be kept for 18 years

The former African National Congress leader, who was released in 1990, remained friends with Mr Brand, 61, until his death in 2013 aged 95.


Key that locked up Nelson Mandela is set to sell for £1 million
The key comes from the prison on Robben island near Cape Town where the anti-apartheid campaigner was incarcerated by the white authorities

The key is being sold at an online auction on January 28, along with some of Mandela’s other prison possessions, including a tennis racket and exercise bike.

The New York auction house Guernsey’s has put a reserve price of nearly £200,000 on the key, but the firm’s Arlan Ettinger said it could fetch more than £1 million.

He added: ‘The idea that an ordinary key worth pennies should be so important is extraordinary.

‘But it represents the best and worst of humanity – Mandela was imprisoned unjustly for 27 years and his first jailer was an 18-year-old boy in his first job.’

The key was used by the jailer, Christo Brand (pictured with Mandela in 1998), who became his friend, and who is now selling the small metal key more than seven years after Mandela's death.
The key was used by the jailer, Christo Brand (pictured with Mandela in 1998), who became his friend, and who is now selling the small metal key more than seven years after Mandela’s death. To use text or photos please contact Jamie Pyatt News Ltd – details below.

He said the key was an important part of world history and hoped it would be bought by someone who would put it on display to the public.

To use any of the text or photos, please contact Jamie Pyatt News Ltd.