Dysfunctional Soweto Heritage Trust blamed for Mandela House Museum mess
Johannesburg - A dysfunctional Soweto Heritage Trust that was left to care for former president Nelson Mandela’s house is what has led to the museum being in limbo.
Now, before the end of the year, liquidators will put the home up for tender to potential investors to take over the running of the museum.
This week, workers at the 8115 Vilakazi Street, Orlando West house said they were worried about job losses after the trust was liquidated.
In a statement on Thursday, the joint liquidators, Allan Pellow of Mazars Recovery and Restructuring and Michael Moloto of Bahlanka Business Solutions and Administrators, said while the contents of the house are not up for sale to pay off debts, they will advertise a tender to take over the running, management and maintenance of the heritage museum.
The house, which was first owned by Mandela and his first wife Evelyn, and then Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was sold to the Soweto Heritage Company, which belongs to the Soweto Heritage trust.
The trust was founded in 1998 by Mandela and other people with a special focus on cultural causes.
“Unable to effectively maintain and promote Mandela House, and due to the lack of an active board of directors, the company became dysfunctional and was wound up in December 2016. The company was in a sound financial position at the time that it was wound up and that position continues to endure,” the liquidators said.
Pellow and Moloto were appointed joint liquidators of the company by the Master of the High Court in Johannesburg in February 2017. “The affairs of the company and the trust were inextricably linked, both sharing a common purpose, and were intended to operate in a symbiotic manner. The trust, like the company, was rudderless and unable to function effectively in the absence of a quorate board of trustees,” the liquidators said.
Pellow and Moloto said the house didn’t have any financial problems and the staff had been paid their full salaries.