Birthday book for Mandela

Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga Africa

With the 46664 concert in London coming up in a few weeks, the Nelson Mandela Foundation yesterday announced plans to publish a book to coincide with the former president's 90th birthday celebrations.

Achmat Dangor, the foundation's chief executive, said the 240-page coffee table book will commemorate Mandela's contribution to South Africa's history and his dedication to global democracy.

"After Mandela retired, he gave us a box of memorabilia that included the Ethiopian passport he went into exile with as well as letters he hid during his time on Robben Island," Dangor said.

"We decided to put all of this into a commemorative book."

Dangor said that the foundation went into collaboration with private companies and communities to raise money to publish the book and also create a centre of memory in Mandela's honour.

Anne Pratt, a pro bono partner with the book, said that businesses would contribute R90000 a page to place messages in the book.

Proceeds would go towards the foundation's fund-raising kitty.

Dangor said they were hoping to raise R200million from book sales. All this will go into the development for the centre of memory that will be at the Nelson Mandela Foundation offices in Houghton.