Item 1071 - Address at launch of the Mandela House Indabas, October 2003

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ZA COM MR-S-1071


Address at launch of the Mandela House Indabas, October 2003


  • October 2003 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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Launch of the Mandela House Indabas

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  • English

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Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my great pleasure to once more welcome you to Mandela House, this time to introduce a new initiative we are launching through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

When we opened this building earlier this year we said that we hoped the quality of work we perform in it would match the beauty and efficiency of the building.

We are launching this new programme of the Foundation, confident that it will in fact further enhance the quality of the work we do and of the service we try to render to the public.

We do programmatic work mainly in the fields of education and health, but have made the decision some time ago that we also need a series of encounters where we provide a forum for information and discussion.

Earlier this year around the time of our birthday we launched the Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture. You may recall that President Bill Clinton graced the occasion by being the inaugural guest lecturer. We envisage the Annual Lecture to be a major contribution on our part towards a vigorous and critical public conversation in our country.

The Mandela House Indabas, which we are launching this evening, are of a smaller scale than the Annual Lecture, but we similarly conceive of this series as contributions to that form of public conversation.

The main purpose of these Indabas will be to present to a broader public, information about the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Foundation is an organisation operated on funds raised from a donor public, and we owe it to the public to keep them informed about the work we do. We trust that these Indabas will provide such opportunities.

Conversations involve response and counter response and we further hope that these Indabas will also evoke feedback and comment on our work. We need you and your in-put in order to assess the efficiency and impact of the work we do.

In all of this – through the Annual Lecture, this series of Indabas and other forms of interaction with the public – we hope to stimulate informed discussion and debate in our society. A democracy grows and becomes deeply grounded only through continuous debate, enquiry and critical appraisal.

We are fast approaching our third democratic election. I shall use other platforms and occasions to canvass and campaign for my political party, the name of which is no secret to any of you. Tonight I wish to take the opportunity at the launch of the Indabas to urge each and everyone to approach those elections in the true spirit of democracy.

Let us argue and debate vigorously and robustly. Let us question each other. Let us question our own leaders and ourselves. Let the political contest be open and fiery. Let us do our democracy proud.

Welcome to this first Mandela House Indaba.

A presentation of one of the Foundation’s projects will now be made. We trust that this information session will draw you closer to the Foundation. We particularly hope that it will make of you critical interlocutors of the Foundation and its work.

I thank you.



Note: 107 Central Street, the premises of the NMF is no longer called Mandela House. It is now the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

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Acquisition method: From hard drive ; Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation Prof J Gerwel. Accessioned on 09/03/09 by Razia Saleh




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