The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Jakes Gerwel Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the Foundation’s Centre of Memory will become the custodian of the Jakes Gerwel Archive. Prof Gerwel had a long association with Nelson Mandela and the Foundation.
He served as Director-General in the office of President Nelson Mandela, and as Mandela's Cabinet Secretary. When Madiba retired in 1999 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation as his post-presidential office, Prof Gerwel joined the Board of Trustees as the chair, a position which he held until his sad death on 28 November 2012. When the Mandela Rhodes Foundation was founded in 2003 Prof Gerwel was also tasked to lead that organisation's Board of Trustees.
It is this close relationship between Madiba and Prof Gerwel that led to the Jakes Gerwel Foundation deciding to deposit his archive with the Foundation. Mr Theo Kemp, the CEO of the Jakes Gerwel Foundation, and a trustee of its Board, welcomed the new partnership, and “especially with this very special project. At last the important documents of and by Prof Gerwel, portraying a significant part of our history, will now find a safe space – accessible for researchers”.
The Jakes Gerwel archive will complement what the Nelson Mandela Foundation already has, since Prof Gerwel was one of Madiba’s main speech writers and advisors, we are looking forward to receiving the professor's papers, said Razia Saleh, the Nelson Mandela Foundation's Director of Archive and Research.