Advocate Thuli Madonsela, the former Public Protector of South Africa, announced on Monday at the Cape Town Press Club that she is in the process of creating a non-partisan, operational private foundation, to operate as the Thuma Foundation. The foundation seeks to develop leadership for democracy, development and peace, focusing on a leadership approach that is ethical, purposeful, impactful and committed to service.

“How can we re-imagine South African democracy? Can we hope for ethical and accountable leadership? Together we have an opportunity to start a new era. Let us collaborate to build the South Africa we dream of. You have heard the quote, “Peace is not the absence of war,” and I truly believe we have the power to lead South Africa, to live in a united nation, a nation at peace, with security and opportunity for all.”

— Adv. Thuli Madonsela

The target group is young people, but the foundation will also extend its leadership development initiatives to groups such as women and disadvantaged communities. The focus will be empowering these groups with leadership skills to enhance constructive engagement in democratic processes, including public accountability and active involvement in community development. The foundation plans to collaborate with organisations, individuals and communities.

Adv. Madonsela has always been committed to justice, human rights, rule of law and governance. The conclusion of her term as the Public Protector of South Africa in October 2016 is a turning point in the Advocate’s life and career and presents an opportunity to engage with the public in a dynamic way, championing the causes she is passionate about independently and with others who are similarly driven. Adv. Madonsela wishes to commit to developing great leadership, democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law in South Africa and beyond.

“Without inclusiveness, social justice and participation in any democracy, peace is an illusion. South Africa’s democracy, development and peace rely on our young leaders. We need to find a way to engage them and I hope to help create space and a platform in which to do so.”

— Adv. Thuli Madonsela

In order to play a significant role in developing the future of South African leadership, Adv. Madonsela, with the support of a committed team, is creating a leadership model and framework for programmes and projects that will serve to, for instance: provide critical information, train and educate South Africans on democracy and The Constitution, analyse the perceptions and needs of South African democracy, contribute to the development of young leaders and provide a platform for transparent, critical dialogue around the matters that concern everyone living in South Africa.

Launching in early 2017, It will be part of the foundation’s mission to help develop a new brand of leaders, playing an active and tangible role in building social cohesion and a more peaceful society. Adv. Madonsela will provide ZAR 500,000 as seed funding for the foundation. Projects will be delivered through foundation-owned activities as well as local and international partnerships across sectors, and centered around the following five pillars: dialogue, research, access to information, training and advocacy.

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