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When you're tired of reports of crime, rape, murder and general mayhem, put Nelson Mandela: The Symbol of a Nation CD in your computer.

Belinda Beresford

When you're tired of reports of crime, rape, murder and general mayhem, put Nelson Mandela: The Symbol of a Nation CD in your computer, click on start and feel your patriotism revive.

The life of South Africa's living icon is revealed in video clips, photographs, text and speech. Some of the footage on this CD has not been released before, providing an added lure, which makes one wonder what other footage and photos are still unseen.

Click on the icon of "the icon" and there, flickering on your screen, is footage from the Treason Trial. Choose another clip and see Mandela give his post-release speech at the Grand Parade in the afternoon sunlight. Unfortunately it doesn't show Jesse Jackson's car being danced on, but one can't have everything.

However, the CD is limited. It's a hagiography, sliding over some less glossy points which expose the man rather than the icon, such as the pain revealed in the divorce from Winnie. It is impossible to see the video footage of Mandela and his second wife walking to freedom from Victor Verster without thinking of what was to happen in the next few years between them.

The CD contains goose-bump causing images such as period photographs of Robben Island, of the Transkei, of the treason trialists, as well as the staple memories such as Nelson and Winnie on their wedding day.

The CD is a project of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, and costs R120. Most of the proceeds will go to the fund, but some will also be given to the National Council for the Blind. The CD can be bought on the web at www.mandela-

It's the kind of thing which is a good gift for expatriate South Africa friends, and to keep for patriotism injections.