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Mandela: SA's greatest son laid to rest (slideshow)
The world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu following a dignified and moving funeral ceremony on Sunday.
South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela, is to become a comic-strip hero in a new project aimed at encouraging young people to read, his charity foundation said this week.
"We are harnessing comics to get across the message and the values of Mr Mandela," said John Samuel, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
One million copies of each of the seven comic strips depicting Mandela's life will be distributed in newspapers and schools across South Africa as part of events celebrating the ex-president's 87th birthday on July 18.
"Comics are an extremely useful way of bringing young people into reading," said Samuel. "Comics, in fact, are a very powerful vehicle for introducing literature, various aspects of reading to young people."
"And this is our objective here," he told a news conference.
Samuel dismissed a suggestion that the world's most revered statesman should not be reduced to a comic figure.
"It would take a lot more than comics to demean his stature," said Samuel. "That's the least of our problems."
Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for opposing apartheid before becoming president in 1994, won a court order in May to stop a former confidant from selling fake art work bearing his name.
The scandal over the fake Mandela art has highlighted the perils of cheapening the Mandela name through too many money-raising ventures.
Mandela is to spend his 87th birthday with his wife, Graca Machel, the wife of former Mozambican president Samora Machel, as well as his three daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at his home in the Eastern Cape village of Qunu.
Other than the comic strips, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate will also be attending a rugby match in his honour on July 23 and a lecture by fellow prize winner Wangari Maathai from Kenya on July 19. -- AFP