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An orange vermillion “Nelson Mandela Rose” was launched at an event attended by Desmond and Leah Tutu as well as Gauteng premier David Makhura‚ with a performance by Sibongile Khumalo‚ on Thursday.

The event was hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Mandela‚ who died at the of age 95 in December 2013‚ would have turned 100 years old on July 18‚[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]2018. The foundation and the ANC are rolling out a series of events to mark his life.

The premier told guests there is no better way to honor Mandela’s legacy than “recommitting ourselves to the service of the people”.

All proceeds from the sale of the rose‚ described as a semi-double hybrid‚ will go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The Food & Trees in Africa organisation said renowned SA horticulturist Keith Kirsten met Madiba at a FTFA tree planting in Alexandra in the 1990s. His idea to breed a rose named after Mandela was greenlighted by the foundation and is finally on the market‚[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]18 years later.

The foundation said 2018 would see the organisation participate in “at least 50” projects aimed at celebrating Mandela’s centenary. Mandela Day – marked on Mandela’s July 18 birthday – will focus on sustainable and measurable projects tackling poverty and inequality.

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