It is with the greatest pride that the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) and the Nelson
Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust (the Hospital Trust) announce and congratulate Chief
Executive Officer, Ms Sibongile Mkhabela, on her achievement of an honorary doctorate
conferred by the Nelson Mandela University (NMU).
Ms Mkhabela stands with four remarkable South Africans who were honoured by the university
during a ceremony held on 5 April 2019, namely, cleric and civil servant Reverend Frank
Chikane; businesswoman and president of the African Farmers Association of South Africa
(Afasa) Dr Vuyo Mahlati and specialist family physician and Independent Practitioners
Association (IPA) Foundation chairman Professor Morgan Chetty. A social activist among the 11 student leaders arrested in connection with the 1976 student uprisings, Ms Mkhabela was recognised for her life’s work and contribution to advancing social justice.
Ms Mkhabela has been among South Africa’s own champions, leading policy and practice
related to children and the advancement of their rights, serving the first democratically elected government as Director in the Office of then-Deputy President Mbeki. In this role, Ms Mkhabela was responsible for programming with specific reference to civil society-government partnerships as well as overseeing the implementation of The UN Children’s Charter. At the helm of Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Fund) and Nelson Mandela Children’s
Hospital Trust (Trust), Mkhabela focuses her efforts on building independent and self-
sustaining African institutions, working cohesively to put the rights and their wellbeing of
NMU honoured Ms Mkhabela for her role, amongst others, in leading policy development in
South Africa and the establishment of a dedicated children’s hospital in South Africa through
one of the largest capital campaigns to be driven by civil society in the country.
A dream of former president Mr Nelson Mandela, and only the second dedicated hospital for
children in the region, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is a flagship project of the Fund
and serves as specialised paediatric facility aimed at improving the quality of paediatric care,
research and training in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ms Mkhabela is also the recipient of The National Order of Luthuli (Silver), awarded by the
President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018, in recognition of her fight against
apartheid and advocacy for children and African societies.
An honour of this level serves as recognition of the journey, advocacy impact and calibre of
leadership of both the Fund and the Hospital Trust, further profiling our organisations and
encouraging our supporters across the globe.
We therefore congratulate Ms Mkhabela on this achievement and due acclamation.
Jointly Issued by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust
South Africa Main Office
P.O. Box 797 Highlands North 2037
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: (+27) 11 274-5600
Fax (+27) 11 486-3914