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Mandela Rhodes Foundation announces new Board Chair Justice Kate O’Regan

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Mandela Rhodes Foundation announces new Board Chair Justice Kate O’Regan

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF) is pleased to announce that Justice Catherine “Kate” O’Regan, a current trustee, will assume the role of Chair from 1 April 2024.

Published 8 March 2024

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For immediate release

Cape Town, 8 March 2024. The Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF), a beacon of leadership development, educational empowerment and one of President Nelson Mandela's enduring legacies, is announcing a significant transition in its leadership. After nearly 21 years of dedicated service (including 10 years as Chair), Professor Njabulo S. Ndebele will be retiring at the end of March 2024 as previously shared in November 2023. The MRF is pleased to announce that Justice Catherine “Kate” O’Regan, a current trustee, will assume the role of Chair from 1 April 2024.

An academic and acclaimed writer, Professor Ndebele has held several prominent positions in South Africa’s higher education arena. The MRF is indebted to him for his unwavering leadership and tireless commitment to its success, and that of its scholars.

"I am immensely proud of the journey the Mandela Rhodes Foundation has undertaken during my tenure as a board member and Chair” he says. “In this time, we have witnessed remarkable achievements and positively impacted the lives of nearly 700 scholars from 36 African countries. As I step down, I have confidence in the Foundation's continued success under the leadership of Justice O’Regan. This transition aligns seamlessly with our new strategic 10-year vision, where we seek representation of Mandela Rhodes Scholars from each and every African nation. I am excited about the organisation’s future.”

Says Justice O’Regan, “it is a great honour to be stepping into the shoes of Professor Njabulo Ndebele as Chair of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. The Foundation’s role in expanding Scholarship opportunities for graduate study for students from across Africa is of enormous value to the continent, and I look forward to working with Judy Sikuza and other members of the management team at the Foundation, to build on the significant achievements of the Foundation in its first 20 years.”

Judy Sikuza, Mandela Rhodes Foundation CEO, says Justice O’Regan “has been an invaluable contributor to our work since joining our Board. Having been appointed by President Mandela himself in 1994, to serve as a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, she embodies the key qualities that speak to Madiba’s values and spirit”.

Ms Sikuza says further that Justice O’Regan “is visionary, insightful, warm, a seeker of fairness and justice, an innovative problem solver and committed to the hard work required to create a truly transformed, prosperous and more humane African society. Her experience in the South African context and the global stage makes her the perfect person to step in as our next Board Chair, as the Foundation continues its efforts to ensure our scholars’ work and voices reverberate positive impact both on the African continent and the global stage.”

About the Mandela Rhodes Foundation

Established in 2003 in partnership with the Rhodes Trust, the MRF is one of President Nelson Mandela’s three official legacy organisations. Its purpose is to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa by providing transformative educational opportunities, through the prestigious Mandela Rhodes Scholarship, to outstanding young Africans committed to the principles of reconciliation, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership on the African continent. For more information visit

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Ben Rycroft
External Relations Director

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