Celebrating Mandela 100

18 July 2018 will mark the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). This occasion will be celebrated around the world with lectures, concerts and debates. Mandela, former President of South Africa, received an honorary doctorate from Leiden University in 1999 (watch the video below). The then Rector Magnificus Willem Wagenaar honoured Mandela as ‘a true defender of freedom.’ Leiden University also set up the Mandela Scholarship Fund, which is still awarded to South African students today. 

To celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela, Leiden University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - that has a long tradition of academic cooperation with South Africa through the South Africa VU Strategic Alliances (SAVUSA) programme - and the South African Embassy to the Netherlands are organising the ‘Celebrating Mandela 100’ event on 1 June, with a keynote lecture by Prof. Tom Lodge (University of Limerick, Ireland), author of the biography Mandela. A Critical Life (2006). 

Master of Ceremony: Prof. Jan-Bart Gewald, Director Africa Studies Centre Leiden


Opening and welcome Mark Rutgers, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, on behalf of Carel Stolker, Rector Magnificus of Leiden University

Introduction to the centenary of Nelson Mandela His Excellency Bruce Koloane, South African Ambassador to the Netherlands

Keynote speech ‘Mandela’s leadership: charisma, tradition, and legal authority’ Prof. Tom Lodge, University of Limerick, Ireland

Closing remarks Prof. Jan-Bart Gewald


Tom Lodge is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick. Before his arrival in Limerick in 2005 he was Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1999-2000 he was Chair of the Africa Institute in Pretoria and between 2004 and 2005 he served on the Research Assessment Executive Evaluation Committee of the National Research Foundation in Pretoria. General research interests: African political parties, democratisation, post conflict politics, late development, political corruption.

Date, time and location

01 June 2018
14.00 - 15.30
Academy Building, Rapenburg 73, Leiden
Groot Auditorium