Barclays gives £5m to Mandela fund as it rebuilds bridges

Barclays Bank has pledged £5m to the new Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust as it edges closer to a return to the South African retail banking market after an 18-year absence.

The gift makes Barclays the lead corporate donor to the trust, which is being set up to provide long-term funding to Mandela's South African-based foundations.

Barclays was once the biggest bank in South Africa, but quit the country in 1986 following anti-apartheid boycotts against its UK arm. It is hoping to return by buying a majority stake in Absa, South Africa's third-biggest bank.

Euan Wilmshurst, the director of Action for Southern Africa, said: "Barclays' support is a welcome acknowledgement of the responsibility multinational companies have in addressing the twin legacies of apartheid and colonialism in South Africa."

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