About the lecture series

The Beyers Naudé Memorial Lecture has been an exciting initiative. Through our Beyers Naudé Memorial Lecture series we provide students with the opportunity to be exposed to interesting topics related to higher education and leadership. We have partnered with nearly every university in the country to deliver these popular lectures and have attracted some very high profiled speakers. We have had a series of lectures with the standard and high level of participation from students, lecturers and, high school learners, being a high point. We are proud to also note that the lecture is held in high regard by the universities we partner with and Dr. Beyers Naudé’s family’s continued support and commitment to the programme is immensely appreciated.

  • The Lecture is an effort to engage South Africans into dialogue about issues affecting our Nation, as Beyers Naudé played a significant role in encouraging discourse about South Africa during the apartheid regime.
  • The first Annual Lecture was hosted at the University of Pretoria in 2003, with Archbishop Emeritus Tutu as the guest speaker.
  • The lecture is hosted with different Universities on a three year cycle so as to reach a wider and diverse audience and encourage the participation of a wider society in dialogue. We also believe that it is important to rotate the lecture with different institutions so as to impact on a larger and diverse audience.
  • Youth participation is encouraged through a call for papers. That is, students are encouraged through a competition to submit commentary essays on their interpretation on issues pertaining to the State of the Nation (with a particular emphasis on the chosen topic for the year).
  • Thereafter three students are chosen to present their interpretations at the Lecture based on their submissions.

Previous university partners

  • University of Pretoria (2003-2005)
  • Stellenbosch University (2006-2008)
  • University of the Free State (2009-2011)
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (2012-2015)

Previous speakers

  • Archbishop Emeritus Tutu (2003)
  • Professor Charles Villa- Vicencio (2004)
  • Former Minister of Education, Ms. Naledi Pandor (2005)
  • Professor Russel Botman (2006)
  • Dr Franklin Sonn (2007)
  • Archbishop Emeritus Tutu (2008)
  • Reverend Cedric Mayson (2010)
  • Dr Allan Boesak (2011)
  • Reverend Frank Chikane (2012)
  • Dr Barney Pityana (2013)
  • Dr Brigalia Bam and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (2014)
  • Former President of South Africa, Mr Thabo Mbeki (2015)
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