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Panel van takes Madiba’s legacy to the people

Home Transport & Logistics Automotive Panel van takes Madiba’s legacy to the people

A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 519 CDI Panel Van has been converted into a mobile museum for the Nelson Mandela Museum, based in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.

The vehicle has been ready to be used by the institution from 18 July, widely recognised the world over as Nelson Mandela Day, in celebration of the icon’s birthday.

Mandela Day is a global call for individuals and responsible corporate citizens to follow in the footsteps of the iconic former president and political prisoner.

It was this same spirit that led to the establishment of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, an institution that is part of a portfolio of legacy projects that seek to transform the heritage landscape, especially in Mandela’s hometown.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa has long been associated with South Africa’s first democratically elected president. It was a specially built red Mercedes-Benz S-Class that Mandela was driven in, after he was released from prison, in 1990.

“As Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa, we are delighted to continue the legacy of Nelson Mandela, in his birthday month. What better way to do this than by assisting underprivileged communities of the Eastern Cape and surrounding areas to gain access to the exemplary icon  that was Tata Madiba,” said Nadia Trimmel, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa.

The 5.5-ton Extra-Long Sprinter is earmarked to assist the Nelson Mandela Museum in fulfilling a vision for Madiba’s legacy to be a living and mobile museum that embraces development and inspires people through education, culture and tourism.

One of the barriers for the museum carrying out its mission has been accessibility. A large part of the region has not been exposed to the museum for various reasons, and this necessitated a mobile solution.

“The Sprinter will improve the reach of the museum’s educational programmes and increase accessibility to various communities, especially those in far-flung areas of the Eastern Cape. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be used to narrate the legacy of Mandela to those who need to be inspired most,” said Bonke Tyhulu, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Museum.

The devastating impact of Covid-19 has also further highlighted the need for the museum to initiate mobile educational programmes, allowing the institution to promote the ideals of non-racialism, non-sexism, peace, unity, human rights and democracy.

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