SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

18 July 2014

South Africa: Coins Pay Tribute to Mandela the Lifelong Learner

The South African Mint Company, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, on Friday marked the first Mandela Day since Madiba's passing by unveiling the second edition its Protea Life of a Legend coin series.

The three-coin series - 24-carat gold R25 (one-ounce) and R5 (one-tenth ounce) coins and a sterling silver R1 coin - are themed around Mandela's dedication to lifelong learning.

The first member of his family to attend school, education remained extremely important to Mandela throughout his life.

The pure gold R25 coin displays the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape, where Mandela studied, a young Mandela wearing a double-breasted suit, and the Mandela quote: "Everywhere in the world it is accepted that students, as a thinking and independent-minded section of the population, have the right to freedom of thought and expression of opinion."

The sterling silver R1 coin depicts Mandela as a child practising how to write "Nelson" on a slate board, along with the Mandela quote: "The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and education is a very important weapon to prepare children for their future roles as leaders of the community."

The pure gold R5 coin carries his quote: "Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world."

All three coins have the same obverse: South Africa's national flower, the King Protea, in a half garland below Mandela in one of his trademark Madiba shirts.

"The South African Mint Company is honoured to release the second Protea coin series on the first Mandela Day that he is not with us," South African Mint Company MD Tumi Tsehlo said in a statement. "Making it more special is that it is dedicated to education, which was so close to his heart."

Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Sello Hatang said: "These beautiful coins, which commemorate the life and times of Madiba, continue to propagate his life and his beliefs, which we cherish as the Nelson Mandela Foundation. They are testament to a living legacy."

The 2014 Protea Life of a legend coin series is available for purchase at the SA Mint in Centurion.

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