President Jacob Zuma holds up a banknote bearing the face of former president Nelson Mandela. Photo: Reuters
President Jacob Zuma holds up a banknote bearing the face of former president Nelson Mandela. Photo: Reuters

Not all tweets sweet on Nelson ‘randelas’

By Karabo Seanego And Sapa Time of article published Feb 13, 2012

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Social networks were abuzz at the weekend over the decision to use Nelson Mandela’s image on all bank notes. Most users praised the move, but some questioned why other liberation heroes were not also being honoured.

The new notes were made public by President Jacob Zuma on Saturday – on the 22nd anniversary of Madiba’s release from prison – at a press briefing attended by SA Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Zuma said the gesture was “a fitting tribute” to Mandela who was a symbol of the Struggle for freedom, human rights and democracy.

“With this humble gesture, we are expressing our deep gratitude to a life spent in service of the people of this country and the cause of humanity worldwide,” Zuma said.

The bank notes would make South Africans remember and appreciate their achievements to continue the journey towards a more prosperous society, he said.

Social networks, notably Twitter, were abuzz with reaction.

Erica Dlamini? @BaibyErica welcomed the notes and said she loves them. “The new bank notes are looking hella. Lovin em” (sic).

@T3LLo_Don also gave the notes the thumbs-up: “New Bank Notes Looking FRESH.”

Chris Morris @dredzombie said: “Mandela on S African bank notes is an excellent idea.”

Thala Msutu @ThalaMsutu77 wanted to know what DA leader Helen Zille thought of the notes: “What’s your view on the Randelas (Mandela Notes)? I think its quite a waste when the Big 5 didn’t offend anybody.”

Zille responded by tweeting: “I think it is appropriate to have the Founding Father of our Nation on our bank notes. timeless tribute.”

But Portia Mahlangu @PorscheMahlangu did not sound happy: “First it was Madiba on R5 coins, then Madiba Day, now Madiba on bank notes… soon there’ll be a Madiba town… ”

Meghan Hector @meghanhector asked: “Why can’t we put the faces of other freedom fighters on the other 4 bank notes? Steve Biko, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu etc.”

The new notes will replace the Big Five series, in circulation since 1992, and would only come into circulation by year-end. However, the popular Big Five will not completely disappear – they will still be on the “reverse” side of the notes.

Marcus said officials consulted widely on the notes, including with Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Gordhan said the notes would “help SA to remember Mandela” and “institutionalise the memory of where we come from”.


Meghan Hector asked: “Is our government changing our notes in anticipation of the extinction of our BIG5? (climate change) we need to make serious changes.” - Pretoria News

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