Nelson Mandela Foundation

Over the last two decades, the ideals of a post-Apartheid South African ‘mythology’ have continued to unravel in different ways. Commentators have noted that some of the ideals of the post-1994 project were misguided. For example, a focus on ‘reconciliation’ supposes a time when there was ‘conciliation’ as the nature of violent dispossession over centuries counters this, and the idea of a ‘rainbow nation’ has been linked to forms of erasure of both identity and justice.

High levels of corruption and concerns around ‘legitimacy’ in the private and public sectors, a failure to transform in meaningful ways as well as worsening economic problems have led many South Africans to seek more urgent and insurgent mythologies around which the nation can imagine itself. However, many of these new forms of identity are destructive, displaying elements of xenophobia, racism, fascism, patriarchy and chauvinism.

In remembering Nelson Mandela, the Nelson Mandela Foundation will hold a discussion to begin a conversation on what this reinvention looks like and what these values are, drawing on some of Madiba’s ideals, which the majority of South Africans share. In doing so, we might begin offering a new form of identity and belonging for all, and draw on Madiba’s words when he stated:

“Time and time again the prophets of doom have been confounded by the capacity and determination of South Africans to solve their problems and to realise their shared vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous country.”


Ayesha Omar - Lecturer in Political Theory, Witwatersrand University

Yvonne Mokgoro - Former Constitutional Court Judge

Haroon Gunn-Salie - South African Artist

Aisha Pandor - Chief Executive Officer, SweepSouth

Event Details:

Date: 5 December 2019

Time: 17h30 for 18h00

Venue: Nelson Mandela Foundation, 107 Central Street, Houghton Estate (Secure parking available along Central Street)

Media Enquiries: 

Kneo Mokgopa

076 420 1910