South Africa — Bank notes
featuring Nelson Mandela's face went into circulation today in South Africa.
Dubbed the "Randela"
after the country's rand currency, the new Mandela notes replace the current
safari-themed bills with images of the "Big Five" animals: lion,
leopard, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo.
Instead, the "Big Five"
will appear on the back of the notes, with Mandela on the front.
Mandela is "excited"
about the bank notes bearing his image, South African Reserve Bank governor
Gill Marcus said Tuesday.
"He is delighted, very
excited about it. We did show him the designs, the drafts and everything
Mandela, 94, became South
Africa's first democratically elected president in 1994, and is often called by
his clan name "Madiba" in South Africa as a term of respect.
"This is our way to pay
tribute to him. Madiba does represent something special, not only in South
Africa. He is really an extraordinary human being," Marcus said.
The Mandela bank notes are being
issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 rand, and have security
features including watermarks, micro-printing and unique numbering, SAPA said.
The old notes will remain legal
President Jacob Zuma earlier this
year said the bank notes were a "humble gesture" to express the
"deep gratitude" of South Africans toward Mandela.