Recently published articles on the support provided by the Sekunjalo Development Foundation to the Brussels based NGO, the AITJ, require clarification.
The Sekunjalo Development Foundation (SDF) and associated philanthropic organisations and foundations (the foundations), are globally recognised philanthropic trusts that have funded several different international initiatives related to anti-human trafficking, human rights issues and peace and justice projects over the past 20 years or more. Additionally, these foundations also support initiatives that combat climate change, enhance education as well as arts and culture.
To date, the foundations have had a combined positive global impact on more that 100 million people across Europe, USA, Asia, and Africa, with funding and donations of more than USD100 million.
The foundations, although headquartered in South Africa, have also funded Swedish based organisations with Dr Survé, along with Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mr Ahmed Kathrada, being made honorary friends and who have received awards for example, for their philanthropic work in and around anti-trafficking programmes of children and women.
Several other international organisations have also received support and continue to do so, especially those related to climate change and the environment.
In respect of the NGO, ‘Association Against Impunity and for Transitional Justice’ (Fight Impunity) formally approached the Sekunjalo Development Foundation (SDF) for donation during 2020. A sum of R4.5million was duly donated to Fight Impunity to what the SDF believes to be a credible and legitimate organisation involved in combatting human trafficking, stopping the abuse of detainees and prisoners, as well as restoring peace and justice.
It is not unusual for the foundations to provide donations to organisations outside of Africa, since the foundations are global entities and donate to several different causes all over the world as we have noted above.
The foundations do, however, wish to make the following abundantly clear; that they will not be told to whom they should or should not donate but, will disassociate themselves from any wrongdoing by any organisation that undermines the good work being done by legitimate organisations to combat the issues the foundations support. The foundations will continue to check that funds donated to Fight Impunity have been used for the cause they were intended – the support of human rights interventions, particularly those in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Further, we categorically state that none of these foundations have been funded by the Qataris as has been intimated by several unsubstantiated articles by reporters who have not had the professional courtesy to ask us for a comment.
Below is the website for AITJ, which reflects an NPO with Nobel Laureates and former high-ranking politicians, including the former Prime Minister of France and EU Human Rights commissioners, as their Trustees.
The website shows their programmes and initiatives, including highlighting efforts to stop the killing of journalists and partnering with the IJF, a matter which we consider important due to our employing hundreds of journalists across Africa.
Our foundations will continue to support credible and legitimate organisations who fight human atrocities and that work towards making the world a better place for all.