LEONARDO DiCaprio is set to receive a long overdue personal gift from Nelson Mandela thanks to a generous memorabilia dealer.

The late anti-apartheid hero posed for a photo with the actor when DiCaprio was in South Africa filming Blood Diamond, and personally signed the picture with the message, "To Leo DiCaprio, Best Wishes, Mandela, 4-8-07" as a gift to the film star in 2007.

However, the memento never reached DiCaprio and was bought by memorabilia dealer Gary Zimet at an auction in Europe.

Zimet, who is boss of auction site Moments in Time, has reportedly had offers of more than $25,000 (£14,706) for the picture, but now he plans to give it to its intended owner instead.

He tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "I'm doing it because it's the right thing to do. Life has taught me, what comes around, goes around (sic)."

Zimet's decision comes after threats of a legal battle began to loom over the photo, with DiCaprio claiming legal ownership of the picture after it appeared on Moments in Time's website and Zimet insisting the actor would have to buy the item, the provenance of which he deemed "ironclad".