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Madiba’s Beemer to be auctioned

BMW South Africa has donated former president Nelson Mandela's BMW 7 Series Security Vehicle to the 46664 Mandela Day School Library project.

The customised sedan, fitted with a blue-light grill, will be auctioned in the coming months and the proceeds will go towards supplying fully-stocked container libraries to disadvantaged schools in Johannesburg.

Former president Nelson Mandela, second from left, taking delivery of the customised BMW 7 Series from BMW AG chairman of the board Dr Norbert Reithofer, left, and then BMW SA managing director Ian Robertson, then Managing Director of BMW South Africa, third from right, in 2002.

The office of the former president returned the car to BMW at the end of its service life; it has since been restored to an immaculate condition and is currently on display at the Franschoek Motor Museum.

A private auction will decide the next destination of this car, once the official transport of arguably the most famous and revered statesman of our generation. Bidder are expected to include serious car collectors as well as museums worldwide.

A LIBRARY EVERY SIX WEEKS FOR A YEAR

Robert Coutts, CEO of the 46664 Bangle Initiative, said: “We have to balance the preservation of the history surrounding this car with the commercial reality of funding the next phase of the 46664 Mandela Day School Library project.

“We're hoping the car will find a home in a museum in South Africa its history is preserved appropriately in our own country - but if it realises the price we anticipate, we'll be able to deliver a library every six weeks for a year.”

BMW South Africa managing director Bodo Donauer said: “Ninety percent of South African schools do not have a library. That's a huge gap in the resources necessary to educate young children, and we're happy to contribute to this initiative.”

As part of the agreement, the first two libraries will be placed at schools in the communities near BMW's plant at Rosslyn, north of Pretoria, where most of BMW's workers live and where their children go to school.

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