The South African government has officially launched its new set of bank notes featuring the image of its former President, Nelson Mandela. The new government notes were earlier announced this year but it was formally commissioned today.
“Madiba” as he is fondly called is revered around the world for his unifying role in the country after serving 27 years in prison in opposition of apartheid rule in South Africa.
“Madiba does represent something special not just in South Africa but in the world,” the country’s Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said. “He is really an extraordinary man and this is a way in which we pay tribute to him.”
The notes in addition to Madiba’s image features South Africa’s “big five” wild animals namely – the rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard.
According to Marcus, the country’s existing currency will be phased out over time and will be used concurrently with the Mandela notes.