By G9ija

South Africa on Friday launched a set of limited edition bank notes and gold coins to mark the 100th anniversary on July 18of the birth of the late President Nelson Mandela.

The South African Reserve Bank said in Pretoria that the notes depict Mandela’s life including his upbringing in rural Eastern Cape as the son of a chief.

The bank said the notes also depict his 27-year incarceration and the end of apartheid in 1994 when he became president.

Mandela, who ruled for just one term, died in 2013 at the age of 95.

The launch forms part of events across the world, culminating locally in an annual Mandela Day lecture by former U.S. President Barack Obama next week.

The etching on the 1-ounce gold coin of a smiling middle-aged Mandela with his hair parted down the middle was designed by Zimbabwe-born Sindiso Nyoni, whose work includes stinging rebukes of former Zimbabwean nonagenarian leader, Robert Mugabe.

“Growing up and living most of my life under a dictatorship, we were not able to experience this feeling of democracy that South Africans have,” Nyoni said.

Mandela’s face already graces all South Africa’s banknotes.

NAN

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