Mandela's Red S-Class Embodies Togetherness and Sacrifice

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” - Nelson Mandela

After 27 years imprisoned under South Africa’s apartheid regime, Nobel Prize winner and first democratically elected President of South Africa Nelson “Mabida” Mandela was presented with a special gift from Mercedes workers in the country. The red Mercedes S-Class was hand-built by workers in Mercedes’ East London plant outside of normal working hours, with the majority of the car’s parts donated by the carmaker. The special project was completed in just four days, after learning of the national hero’s imminent release.

Dubbed Madiba’s Merc, it featured a South African flag, Mandela’s name and a license plated reading “999 NRM”, after Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who said the building of the car reflected how “many are willing to work together and make sacrifices to build our nation.” Nelson Mandela, Rest in Peace.

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