Street vendors, designer stores and book stores in South Africa are cashing in on former president Nelson Mandela’s illness by selling portraits, T-shirts and other merchandise branded with his image.
"Every time motorists see Mandela's portrait, they stop and buy, because his illness has created fresh interest among South Africans who love him so much’" Patrico Macia, a 28-year-old hawker, told the Anadolu Agency.
Mandela, who is revered like a saint in South Africa for fighting Apartheid, was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on June 8, suffering from a recurring long infection.
Since his admission to hospital, hawkers have taken advantage and started selling items bearing his image.
In Midrand, north of Johannesburg, several hawkers stand at busy road intersections and stop signs to lure motorists into buying Mandela branded merchandise.
"I have sold over 10 portraits of Mandela today," said Macia, putting the price of each portrait at $20 (Rand 200).
"I can’t complain business is booming, expect for the Metro police who keep on chasing us away from the stop signs," he added before running off to attend to a customer.
Mandela, 95, became South Africa's first democratically elected president in 1994. He served in the office for five years.
He is revered by South Africans as the father of their nation after spending spent 27 years in prison for taking up arms to fight the apartheid regime.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is paying tribute to the ailing hero by placing his pictures at the ANC headquarters in central Johannesburg.
Mandela served as ANC president between 1991 and 1997.
In downtown Johannesburg, designer stores have stocked Mandela T-shirts, which cost between $300 - $400 depending on the quality and design.
"Most of my customers are youth and some of them have been buying two pairs of the Mandela T-shirts, because they love him," Thabang Tobela, a store owner at one of Johannesburg’s small streets, told the AA.
However, the Mandela shirts which were made popular by the former iconic leader during his term as president in the 1990 cost slightly more.
‘"The Mandela shirts go for $850 (Rand. 850) because of the expensive fabric and those who buy them are mostly middle class people and professionals," Tobela explained.
The Mandela shirts are long sleeved, flowered or striped shirts with big buttons, the same as those Mandela used to wear.
They are typically worn by local politicians, academics and middle class people.
When contacted for a comment, Sello Hatang, the spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, asserted it was not illegal for hawkers to sell Mandela T-shirts and portraits which did not bear his former prisoner number '46664.'
"We have a specified brand of clothing that we sell as a foundation to raise funds for good works," he told the AA in a telephone interview.
"We also authorize certain stores to sell those brands."
The restricted brands include a logo bearing Mandela's former prison number '46664'.
Book stores are also making a fortune out of Mandela’s illness.
Some of the country’s leading book stores have been promoting one of Mandela’s popular books, Long Walk to Freedom.
Israel started withholding around $130 million a month in tax and customs revenues in December after the Palestinians announced that they were joining the International Criminal Court, a move finalised on Wednesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued an executive order creating new sanctions authority to punish individuals and entities engaged in cyber attacks.
At least nine people have reportedly been killed in Nigeria's northwestern Kano State
At least nine people were killed on Tuesday when hurricane-force winds lashed northern Europe in one of the most severe storms in years, forcing flights to be cancelled and disrupting road, train and marine traffic.
Russia and Ukraine agreed last year on a "winter package" for supplies with a price discount of $100 per thousand cubic metres and advance payments, but that accord expired on Tuesday and has yet to be replaced.
Sarkozy arrived Wednesday at financial section of high court of Paris to be interrogated over charges of breach of trust, complicity and concealment.
Police quiz Crimean Tatar Mejlis deputy head Umerov for seven hours and search his house.
Ethiopia is making preparations to evacuate its nationals from Yemen
U.S. State Department official who asked not to be named said Washington was ready to work with whoever was democratically elected in Nigeria and offered a positive.
Eritrean Foreign Ministry has refused claims that alleged Iranian support to Houthis group was being channeled through the Horn of Africa nation.
With officials touting victory in a month-long battle, state television said Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi was visiting the city, which the Islamist militants captured last June as they seized most of Iraq's Sunni territories.
First independent Crimean Tatar network ATR stops broadcasting after failing to get permission from Russian authorities.
President Obama said he would ask the U.S. Congress for $1.3 billion per year in military aid for Egypt and said he would lift holds on aircraft, missiles and tanks for Cairo in place since October 2013, the White House said in a statement.
German airline confirms co-pilot of crashed Germanwings plane informed company of severe depression episode.
Many tunnels have been discovered in Anbar province, an Iraqi govt official says.
According to the military assessments, between 1,000 and 1,500 rockets could hit Israel daily in the next full-blown conflict, killing hundreds of people and potentially paralysing key installations like airports, sea ports and power stations.