22 years after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela’s image will be on South African New Banknotes (See New R50 Rand with Mandela’s Image)


22 years ago today, Nelson Mandela was released from prison. After spending 27 years behind bars and becoming the iconic figure in the anti-apartheid movement, it was announced today by President Zuma that South Africa will bear the image of Nelson Mandela in the new South African currency with the country’s big five animals in the back of the banknotes. The new banknotes of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 hope to be out in circulation by the end of the year.

South African President Jacob Zuma was quoted by saying that the new Rands were a “humble gesture” to express the “deep gratitude” of South Africans toward Mandela. Speaking at the Central Bank in Petroria, South Africa, President Zuma said, “It is a befitting tribute to a man who became a symbol of this country’s struggle for freedom, human rights and democracy…The bank notes will make us remember and appreciate our achievements in order to continue the journey towards a more prosperous society.”


Here is footage of Mandela walking a free man after 27 years in prison.

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