The South African Government announced on Thursday that former President Nelson Mandela will be renamed ‘Nelson Mandela of the ANC’ with immediate effect. A spokesperson for President Jacob Zuma says the move comes in light of recent confusion over who owns Mandela’s legacy, claiming it was more fitting that “(T)he name of the African National Congress is forever connected to Nelson Mandela and that Nelson Mandela is forever connected to the African National Congress.”
“Madiba of the ANC is old, 90-something,” said the spokesman, adding the party’s name to the anti-Apartheid hero’s affectionate nickname as well. “We feel at this age he is ripe for exploitation with people trying to make money using his name and people trying to claim he supports this thing or that and what what. This is why, we believe, he would support this initiative by our government,” he said.
The renaming will cost approximately R200 million ($22 million) and will begin with the official name change ceremony of all roads bearing the name of the global icon.
“One of these days when he is up and about and feeling good, we’ll take him to have a look at these amazing changes we are making for him, preserving his legacy and fighting poverty, injustice and inequality just the way he wanted. I am sure Madiba of the ANC will be proud,” he concluded.
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