VOL. NO: 51      DATE:
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WHAT do you give former South African president Nelson Mandela for Christmas? Well, football ace David Beckham solved that problem neatly by deciding to send an autobiography of himself to the freedom fighter. The hardback copy of ‘David Beckham: My World’, published in October 2000, is just one of the many Xmas presents that have been pouring into the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

The book was delivered with a handwritten note that reads: "To Mr Mandela. It was an honour to meet you. See you soon. David Beckham".

Among the many gifts are a silver bottle opener sent by Tiffany and Co, as well as a still life oil painting sent by actor Robert De Niro that has been painted by the actor’s artist father. 

Beckham met the now 88-year old former President back in May 2003 when the England team was in South Africa for a friendly match against the national team Bafana Bafana.

The footballer’s gift, along with all the others that Mr Mandela has been receiving, will be catalogued and stored until the former President, who is away on a trip, returns to the country. He will then choose those he wants to display in one of his three houses – in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Maputo, Mozambique, revealed Verne Harris, the project manager of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

"Mr Mandela will select the ones he wants to have in one of his houses. Those that he doesn’t require are registered here," the Daily Mail quoted Harris, as saying.

Also among the gifts are a cashmere shawl from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and the entire King James Bible printed on a single sheet of paper from an unknown donor.


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