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'Mandela' lives on as respected legacy - and commercial brand

Published on Dec 17, 2013 12:42 PM
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Helicopters carrying the South African flag fly over a 9-meter bronze statue of South African former president Nelson Mandela which was unveiled on Dec 16, 2013. One of the world's most revered names, "Mandela" has also become a money-spinning brand that some fear may be abused and devalued by the very people supposed to protect it - his heirs. -- PHOTO: AFP

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - One of the world's most revered names, "Mandela" has also become a money-spinning brand that some fear may be abused and devalued by the very people supposed to protect it - his heirs.

The man hailed for his selflessness and sacrifice had pointedly stated during his lifetime that he did not wish to be linked to commercial products.

Yet in the last months of his life, feuds broke out among his close associates and family members over using the Mandela name to sell everything from wine to art - at times grabbing such attention the spats threatened to overshadow reflections on the great man himself.

In financial terms, experts expect the Mandela brand to shoot through the roof now that the revered statesman has died.

 
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