A home to celebrate democracy and freedom in South Africa

Michaela and Zdenek Bakala, proud supporters of the FW de Klerk Foundation, a world-renowned institution that promotes democracy, freedom, and human rights in South Africa, have said they are honoured to play their part in contributing to the Foundation’s new centre for the celebration and commemoration of South Africa’s constitution. The project aims to establish a dignified yet active place where the thoughtful legacy of former President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Frederik Willem de Klerk can be commemorated.

FW de Klerk with Michaela Bakala at a charity auction organised by his Foundation.

“We are very honored to contribute to the Foundation and the new center. We were close to FW de Klerk. In values, in attitudes, in perspective of the past and the future. We deeply respect his life’s work for freedom and human rights. Supporting his legacy affirms our friendship and gratitude, while fulfilling our family’s vision of philanthropy in support of democracy,” said Michaela Bakala.

With the support of a USD 200,000 (approximately CZK 4.5 million) contribution from the Bakala Family, the new center will house a permanent exhibition tracing South Africa’s negotiated transformation from apartheid to non-racial constitutional democracy between 1989 and 1994. The project also includes building a documentation center and a venue for events commemorating these key events. In the future, the center intends to begin publishing activities and the production of audio-visual presentations.

A picture of preliminary Foundation's new Centre in Cape Town.

“In many ways, the project is reminiscent of the Václav Havel Library in Prague, of which we shared in the planning and support since its inception.  FW de Klerk and Vaclav Havel share a similar life role and political experience as president in times of dramatic change, whether it was the fall of apartheid or communism. Their messages must continue to be spread; and we will try to use the similarities of both institutions to inspire each other and share experiences,” continued Zdenek Bakala. The new center is primarily aimed at the younger generation and is expected to open in the Summer of 2022.

The Bakalas have a long-standing friendship with former President de Klerk and his wife Elita.

In 2016, Michaela and Zdeněk Bakala have supported the work of the FW de Klerk Foundation promoting harmonious relations between cultural, religious, and linguistic communities in South Africa, regardless of race. Since then, they actively contribute to the Foundation’s activities and regularly participate in its charity events.


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