Nelson Mandela Foundation

On the 12th of April 2022, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory hosted representatives from Soochow University, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy as well as the Taiwanese Embassy to South Africa in a handover ceremony where documentation of Nelson Mandela’s investiture as Doctor of Laws by Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan, was handed to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The ceremony was hosted virtually between Taiwan and South Africa, with the Nelson Mandela Foundation streaming from the venerated auditorium of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. It was from this space that Madiba hosted some of the most challenging conversations to contribute to South African democracy. It is also the space from which he made his retire from retirement speech in 2004.

The ceremony was attended by the Taiwanese representative to South Africa, Anthony Ho; the President of Soochow University, Dr. Pan Wei-Ta; Director Angel Wu from the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy; and board member of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Futhi Mthoba as well as Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang. The handover was facilitated by the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Director of Archive and Research, Razia Saleh.

In reflecting on the significance of the handover, Chief Executive Sello Hatang echoed Mme Futhi Mthoba’s reflection on how widely dispersed Madiba’s archival artefacts are and that bringing them to the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s archival vault brings that archive closer to completion and, more importantly, it means more people can access the fullness of his legacy.

In reflecting on Madiba’s legacy, Dr. Pan Wei-Ta, President of Soochow University, shared on the influence of, and guiding light that is, Nelson Mandela.

“His unsurpassed wisdom and courage, selfless sacrifice and noble character made him a role model for all leaders to follow. The example of fortitude and forbearance he has shown is worthy of emulation, and admiration from all of us.” he said.

Soochow University also made donations towards the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Reading Room and gifted our archives with a photo album photo album of the original investiture event with Nelson Mandela in Taiwan.

We are grateful to Soochow University, the Taiwanese embassy as well as the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy for their generous contributions towards the archives as well as their continued support of the work we are able to do together.