Mandela event rakes in millions

Barack Obama will headline VVIP guests at the event.
Barack Obama will headline VVIP guests at the event.

The rich and powerful seeking to attend Nelson Mandela's centenary gala dinner will have to fork out up to R800000 to secure a table at the fundraising gala in Nasrec, Johannesburg.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and former US president Barack Obama will headline high-profile VVIP guests expected to attend the gala dinner on July 17.

The gala dinner is themed "night of a hundred words".

Details of the sponsorship packages for the dinner are contained in an invitation that is doing rounds in which people are urged to book seats.

A VVIP seating for 10 people costs R500000 per table and a seating for 16 people will cost R800000.

It will cost R400000 for 10 people to sit at Tier 1 seating.

Ordinary seats cost between R15000 and R30000.

The highest price paid for at a gala dinner was during the ANC 105 birthday celebrations where business people reportedly paid up to R2-million to sit next to former president Jacob Zuma.

Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said yesterday that the gala dinner was meant to thank and celebrate the post-lecture which will be delivered by Obama at the Wanderers Stadium, in Johannesburg, on July 17 - a day before what would have been Mandela's 100th birthday.

"Every year we host the dinner following the lecture," Hatang said.

He said such fundraising galas helped to fund the work of the foundation.

"The NGO [nongovernment organisation] sector has been under financial pressure and we want to sustain the work of the foundation."

Hatang said members of the public will not pay to attend the lecture. "It will be the biggest lecture with 15000 people in attendance.

"All our guests do not pay to access the lecture."

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