According to a news release in February 2012 (22 years after Nelson Mandela was freed), the South African Reserve Bank will produce a new series of banknotes which “will have the same denominations, sizes, and colors as the current issued notes, but the front of all notes will carry a specially designed engraving of former President Nelson Mandela. The reverse side of each denomination will have an image of different animals:
- 10 rand – rhino
- 20 rand – elephant
- 50 rand – lion
- 100 rand – buffalo
- 200 rand – leopard
- Set of 5 notes
Each note is extremely colorful and would make a great addition to any banknote collection or just to own as a historical tribute to a great man who did a lot to bring about freedom to blacks in South Africa through his own freedom. Of course animal lovers will enjoy owning these notes as the depictions of the “big five” animal’s images are also amazing. These notes would look amazing in a picture frame, or as part of your banknote collection.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in 1918 and was an anti-apartheid activist and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and was the first president elected in the first ever democratic election in South Africa. His legacy is one of dismantling the apartheid system and helping to alleviate poverty and inequality for the majority black population.
In 1948 the then National Party in power implemented apartheid. Nelson Mandela rose to prominence in the ANC (African National Congress) as an anti-apartheid supporter and activist. He was repeatedly arrested and stood trial with other leaders of the ANC (called the treason trial). He was initially committed to a non-violent protest, but then adopted a policy of violent resistant and co-founded the ANC’s armed wing the Umbkhonto we Sizwe in 1961. In 1962 he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He served 27 years in jail and many international campaigns were launched to lobby for his release.
Nelson Mandela was released from jail in 1990 and led the ANC in negotiation with the then president F.W. DeKLerk. These negotiations lead to the abolition of apartheid and established democracy in South Africa for the first time in 1994. In the election that year he led the ANC to victory and became the first elected president. In 1999 he decided not to run for a second term and his deputy Thabo Mbeki succeeded him. He then became the elder statesman and focused his time and attention on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS.
Nelson Mandela has received over 250 awards including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize. He is held in deep respect within South
Africa (and many nations around the world) and is known as the “Father of the Nation”
Nelson Mandela has not been a stranger to controversy and was said by his critics to be a terrorist, but through the appalling time of Apartheid he was a strong advocate and leader for its abolition and spent many many year in prison for his strongly held beliefs.
Note on Apartheid (as there may be many collectors who do not remember or know about this)
Apartheid is a system of racial segregation – where the rights of the majority of black people in South Africa were curtailed and from legislation the black people were not allowed in many buildings, allowed to ride on buses, eat in certain restaurants and had the loss of many other rights and privileges. Residential areas were segregated and the black population moved out of many neighborhoods so they would be white only.
There is so much more that can be said on this, and it was a sad time in the history of a beautiful and amazing country and through the determination and self sacrifice of Nelson Mandela, and much trade restriction and political pressure from other nations; the apartheid regime was ended in 1994 – however there is still a long way to go before the wounds will be healed.
Purchase these Mandela notes online (UPDATE: since the writing of this blog 2 other series of Nelson Mandela notes have been released – in 2015 and 2018 and you will see those in our collection of notes featuring Nelson Mandela)