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WBC boxing belt gifted to Nelson Mandela stolen from his house in Soweto


Nelson Mandela’s WBC boxing belt, which was gifted to him by former American World Champion Sugar Ray Leonard, was stolen from his old house on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.

Marco Cianfanelli’s Shadow Boxing sculpture of Nelson Mandela at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday, December 6, 2013 following the death of the global icon. File picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

A WORLD Boxing Council (WBC) belt that was on display at the Nelson Mandela museum in Soweto has been stolen, Gauteng police have confirmed.

The WBC title belt was given to Mandela by former American world champion Sugar Ray Leonard after he was released from prison.

According to the report, the belt – which was on display – was reported missing on July 1 by employees of the Nelson Mandela House on Vilakazi Street in the western part of Orlando.

It is believed that the employees reported the incident to the police in Orlando, Soweto.

The Mandela house is home to many artefacts of the late Struggle icon, who was acknowledged around the globe for his contribution to South Africa’s liberation.

The stolen belt had a green strap emblazoned with gold WBC details.

Police in Gauteng confirmed that the belt, worth an estimated R50,000, was reported stolen.

Police spokesperson for Gauteng Colonel Dimakatso Sello said no suspects had been arrested yet.

“A case of theft general was opened on July 2, 2022 after it was reported that a boxing belt worth approximately R50,000 was stolen at the Mandela House in Vilakazi Street in Orlando West.

“There are currently no suspects arrested and the police are investigating,” Sello said.

Sello urged any person with information relating to the matter to report to the police immediately.

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