The Mandela Rhodes Foundation was launched in February 2002, in Cape Town.

It is a partnership which affirms the commitment to the reconciliation of different, and at times opposed, historical traditions, which is so central to the philosophy and practice of the new South Africa.

In his speech at Groote Schuur, Mr Mandela emphasised the historical significance of the new partnership.

He said: 'By combining our name with that of Cecil John Rhodes in this initiative, is to signal the closing of the circle and the coming together of two strands in our history'.

He closed by saying: 'We thank the Rhodes Trust for joining us in this partnership and look forward to a long and fruitful life for this new entity'.

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is built upon a full and equal partnership between the Founders. We shall in the coming years develop and extend this partnership in which we hope all Scholars will share.

In the memorandum of understanding between Mr Mandela and the Rhodes Trustees, the Founders committed themselves to the fundamental values of the South African constitution, in particular the enhancement of human dignity, and the advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The programmes of the new foundation will address the legacies of racial discrimination, profound inequality, poverty and lack of educational opportunity.

It was also agreed that those living elsewhere in Africa and in the Commonwealth would benefit from the Founders' joint initiatives in South Africa.

The reunion in Cape Town will provide an opportunity for Scholars to learn more about the plans of the new Mandela Rhodes Foundation. The wide ranging events that we have planned will provide all those attending with insights into, and understanding of, the many challenges and opportunities facing the new South Africa.

There will be opportunities to meet resilient and resourceful South Africans from all walks of life.

An artist's impression of the new Mandela Centre

Photographs: The launch of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, 13 February 2002, Groote Schuur
Groote Schuur
For more information contact:
The Secretariat, Global Conferences,
P.O.Box 44503, Claremont, 7735 Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 762 8600 Fax: +27 21 762 8606