Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation would like to acknowledge the passing on of the former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. We send our condolences to the people of Zimbabwe as well as the Mugabe family.

The passing on of former President Robert Mugabe invites deep reflection and provokes the ambivalence of condolence and analysis. Like all legacies, his is full of contradictions, a complex of liberation struggle, despotic rule, postcolonial renewal and the systematic breaking of democratic institutions.

In 2008, Nelson Mandela spoke publicly about Zimbabwe at a moment when South Africa, as it is today, was reckoning with the destructive forces of xenophobia.

“Nearer to home, we had seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe.”

It is tragic that, in 2019, we are confronted with a moment characterised by the very same confluence of concerns. It is a moment that demands, throughout the African continent, the kind of leadership at all levels of society which foregrounds service and prioritises the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

As an institution whose work is dedicated to mobilising memory for justice, we hope that Africans across the continent will use memory as a resource in building a better future and never repeating the errors of the past.