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On This Day in 2012: South Africa Launched a New Line of Bank Notes


South Africa launched a new line of bank notes bearing the image of its first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela (93), on the 22nd anniversary of his release from prison.

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, on the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and on the east and northeast by Mozambique and Swaziland, and surrounding the kingdom of Lesotho.

South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 56 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. It is the only country that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (white), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (coloured) ancestry.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.

The South African rand is the currency of South Africa. The rand is subdivided into 100 cents. Unlike the US dollar, the decimal separator between a rand and cent is expressed by a comma. The ISO 4217 code is ZAR, from Dutch Zuid-Afrikaanse Rand (South African rand). The rand is the currency of the Common Monetary Area between South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Namibia.

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