The New York-based Guernsey auction house announced the suspension of the auction on its website without giving a reason following a protest in South Africa. 

Mandela's eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, had planned to auction the items on February 22, saying she wanted to use the money to build a memorial garden in Mandela's honor near his cemetery.

South African Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa said the sale should be blocked because Mandela is "an integral part of South Africa's heritage".

"It is therefore important that we protect Mandela's legacy and ensure that his life experiences remain in the country for future generations," Kodwa said. Local media quoted Mandela's grandson Ndaba as saying he was also against the auction. Mandela's identity card was among the items on the list.

On social media, people said, "Who would sell their father's identity card? This is madness. You are stealing South Africa's heritage." 

Mandela was sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for his struggle against white minority rule and became South Africa's first black president in 1994. He resigned five years later. He died in 2013 at the age of 95.