Nelson Mandela Foundation

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South Africa's Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela gave the conference keynote address. She spoke about accountability and transparency. To view an interview, click here.

On 14 August the Nelson Mandela Foundation convened the first session of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Conference, titled “National and International Perspectives on Crime Reduction and Criminal Justice”. 

The session took the form of a panel discussion facilitated by the Foundation’s Director of Research and Archive, Verne Harris.

The premise of the discussion was that the levels and nature of violence in a society recovering from periods of oppression are not unconnected to the ways in which that society has reckoned with its past. 

All the panellists had been participants in the joint Foundation-GIZ Global Leadership Academy international project The Mandela Dialogues (see Foundation co-convenes international dialogue series and The Mandela Dialogues).

Harris provided the initial framing to the discussion, arguing that: “South Africa’s pasts still weigh heavily on our shoulders.  And they feed the rage we see around us.” 

Click here to view Harris' panel input.

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From left: Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi, Judge Daniel Rafecas, Dr Undine Whande and Verne Harris.

Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi, of the University of Cape Town, offered a reflection, both personal and scholarly, on accountability and reconciliation in South African contexts. Click here to view his interview. 

Judge Daniel Rafecas, of Argentina, who has been trying human rights violation cases from the dictatorship era for over a decade, gave an overview of his country’s continuing endeavour to reckon with its pasts.

And international dialogue and process facilitator Dr Undine Whande drew out common threads from the other inputs and wove them into a deeper tapestry of reflection. Click here to view her interview.

Areas of both agreement and disagreement were highlighted as the panel then engaged in a lively interchange before the conversation was opened to the audience.

“This was an excellent opening to the conference,” ISS senior research fellow Chandre Gould said.  “The discussion was so rich.”

To view additional multimedia interviews from the conference, visit


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Foundation co-convenes international dialogue series

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is partnering with the German GIZ Global Leadership Academy which is…