Remembering President Nelson Mandela – Patron in Chief in memoriam
Just after Nelson Mandela’s release in 1990, Bertie Lubner became acquainted with Madiba through his involvement in the World Economic Forum. Few people know that Bertie was the key figure who, in 1992, was instrumental in bringing together Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Mangosuthu Buthelezi on the same platform for the first time. Thereafter, Bertie’s friendship with Mandela only grew.
Over many an afternoon tea, the late Nelson Mandela spent time with Afrika Tikkun’s Bertie Lubner and Herby Rosenberg debating the role of South Africans in building an equal and just society.
There, Afrika Tikkun was born in 1994 – an endeavour to eradicate poverty by empowering children and the youth. Nelson Mandela’s love for children and his absolute persuasion about the value of their education and empowerment for the future of South Africa influenced the founders of the organisation deeply and irrevocably. The passion and the values embodied by these men are now ingrained in the Afrika Tikkun culture.
President Nelson Mandela believed in what Dr Lubner and Chief Rabbi Harris were doing – not only in changing children’s lives but indeed in changing the country. After a visit to a Tikkun project in Orange Farm in 1999, he said that he had “seen a miracle” and, from this, volunteered to become the Patron-in-Chief.
“Tikkun demonstrates in a practical and sustainable manner what can be done with limited resources, great commitment and passion. It is my belief that Tikkun represents the best of what civil society can offer in partnership with Government’s considerable efforts.”
– Nelson Mandela