The Nelson Mandela Foundation is delighted to announce two upcoming public deliberations as part of continuing the centenary celebrations and as we commemorate the fifth anniversary of Madiba’s passing.
At the first event, titled Is’thunzi Sabafazi, media personality Oprah Winfrey will deliver a keynote address. This will be followed by a conversation between Zoleka Mandela, Josina Z Machel and Mama Graça Machel on how we mobilise a caring and just society that purposely centres the equality, safety and freedom of women. This event will take place at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus on 29 November 2018.
On 5 December 2018, award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will commemorate the passing of Nelson Mandela in a keynote address on the power of memory and public imagination in their local, continental and global manifestations. This event will take place at the University of South Africa, Pretoria.
These public deliberations take place at a critical moment in South Africa when all South Africans in their private and public lives are being challenged to take responsibility for a social, political and economic future sustained by strong institutions that are trustworthy, and for an accountable leadership at all levels.
The time has come for South Africans to reflect deeply on how we got to what is being revealed by the day in the media, court hearings and commissions of inquiry. The issues range from violence against women and children; the capture of critical public institutions by corrupt politicians and civil servants working with criminal syndicates; and human trafficking by dubious religious institutions; to banks that steal from the poor; political murders; unrelieved poverty side by side with obscene wealth; and deteriorating global diplomacy.
In October 2018 – the 20th anniversary of Madiba receiving the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report from Archbishop Tutu – it is appropriate, and instructive, to revisit the recommendations that flowed from that seminal intervention. Fundamentally, those recommendations defined the TRC’s view on what the priorities were at the time for transforming South African society. Had they been implemented, many would argue, South Africa would be a far more focused and purposeful country today. The spaces for capture and corruption would have been significantly reduced.
Concurrently, we also find ourselves in a moment where we need to revisit the overarching objectives of these processes during the transition, to build a cohesive and transformative state and society and question where fractures and failures took place. In doing so we must look toward a new cohesive vision for society.
Five years after Madiba’s passing, we need to continue to strive for the country of his dreams – they can no longer be deferred. South African citizens are called upon to enter into fresh and solemn undertakings to pick up the pieces and rebuild their country.
We trust that the public deliberations the Nelson Mandela Foundation will convene in the next two months might contribute to these objectives, and yield us perspectives from outside South Africa that may enable us to better understand the challenges we face as part of a larger humanity.
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