The trustees of The CEO Sleepout has apologised if they have offended anyone following an advertisement on their website to auction off a night in former President Nelson Mandela’s cell on Robben Island. The trustees say in a statement it was done in a quest to raise funds for a worthy cause. CEO sleepout events allow CEO’s of various companies the opportunity to bid for a night out on the street to raise funds for the underprivileged. The movement has raised more than R52 million over the past three years in an effort to end homelessness.
The Robben Island Museum has vehemently condemned the proposed auction of cell seven. The trustees however maintain that they have been in ongoing discussions with RIM since early 2017 and that they visited the Island in March to meet with the Robben Island board. They say at this meeting it was agreed that the project was given access to all the maximum-security jail cells, including the courtyard and Madiba’s cell.
The Trust further states that the spokesperson of the Robben Island museum and all involved stakeholders attended the media launch of their sleepout events in May this year.