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.
artist's impression of the new Mandela Centre