Madiba 90

Madiba R5 coin launched

2008-07-07 14:11

Special Report

Mandela: SA needs good leaders

Now as much as ever, South Africa needs disciplined leaders, Nelson Mandela has said at birthday celebration in Pretoria.

Johannesburg - The new Nelson Mandela R5 coin will share "Tata's" love, experience and leadership, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said on Monday at the coin's launch in Johannesburg.

The bi-metal R5 coin, launched by the South African Reserve Bank and the South African Mint Company in Houghton, features a smiling portrait of former president and Nobel Peace prize laureate Mandela.

Wearing a golden leaf pattern shirt, Mandela arrived at the launch under the watchful eyes of his personal assistant Zelda la Grange. He was helped to his seat while joking with the media and politicians.

Mandela, Manuel and Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni then struck a new five rand coin at the launch using a manual press.

"Render onto Caesar what belongs to Caesar," Mboweni said after handing the new coin to the ageing Mandela.

"I'm a bit richer this morning," the renowned statesman said upon receiving the coin.

Manuel and Mboweni called on everyone to use the new coin and wanted to see it in circulation.

Mandela is shown wearing one of his signature patterned shirts on the coin's face, which differentiates his portrait from the more formal ones of other former leaders on coins.

Five million of the coins had already been minted and would go into circulation on July 18 as part of the celebrations of Mandela's 90th birthday.

The coin was legal tender, said Mboweni.

"Do use it to buy goods and services," he said.

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