Nelson Mandela Foundation

30Th 11 Feb 2020 Invitation Co Ct Copy © Miguel Ribeiro

The 11th of February 2020 will mark the 30th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from Victor Verster prison. To commemorate this moment, the Nelson Mandela Foundation will host three, connected events in the Western Cape. This year’s commemorations will consider the ‘new prisons of Africa’ that have come to define life for many and focus on how to achieve substantive liberation. These ‘prisons’ range from the physical prisons that have led to high levels of incarceration and the failures of restorative justice, to the effective prisons that define our lives, such as the violence that keeps people in their homes to the prisons of the mind that keep people within a particular understanding of themselves. 

The commemoration events fall within a time for South Africa to reckon with its history as the president’s State of the Nation Address is days after the thirtieth anniversary. It is therefore a time for reflection and planning and the commemoration events bring the historical narrative of the country into focus as we assess that state of South Africa, where we have come from and where we are going. The thirtieth anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela is also the thirtieth anniversary of the unbanning of political parties in South Africa, the defeat of Apartheid and the beginnings of democracy in South Africa. It is, therefore, an immensely historical occasion that celebrates the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the hard-won freedoms we enjoy today. 

The commemorations will take place in three parts:

1.      Reunion of members of the original Reception Committee that facilitated Madiba’s return from prison

Date: 11 February 2020

Time: 08h00 - 10h30

Venue: ‘Victor Vester’ Drakenstein Correctional Centreg 

2.      Lecture by Leymah Gbowee (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) and Panel Discussion with Danai Mupotsa (author of ‘Feeling and Ugly) and Opal Tometi (Co-Founder

of Black Lives Matter)

Date: 11 February 2020

Time: 12h00 - 14h00

Venue: Cape Town City Hall

3.      The Speech that Birthed A Nation, 30 years on: Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa

Date: 11 February 2020

Time: 14h30 - 16h30

Venue: Cape Town City Hall Balcony

Please RSVP your attendance with Lee Davies at

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