South Africa releases commemorative Mandela banknotes

The South African Reserve Bank has revealed a new set of notes commemorating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. Each note depicts a different stage of Mandela’s life and includes subtle references to wildlife and Mandela’s patterned shirts

The designs went into circulation last week to mark Mandela’s birthday on July 18. They were designed by UK banknote manufacturing company De La Rue – the same company that designed the ballot papers for South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994.

South Africa’s current bank notes feature an image of Mandela on the front and one of the big five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo) on the reverse. The commemorative notes feature a similar front, but each one depicts a different stage of Mandela’s life on the reverse – from his birth to his imprisonment at Robben Island to his time at President of South Africa – alongside a picture of him in traditional tribal dress.

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