National Orders to be bestowed on deserving citizens

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is expected to bestow the highest honour of the country on local citizens and eminent foreign nationals in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The National Orders will be bestowed on people who have contributed immensely towards the advancement of democracy, those who excelled in various endeavours, as well as those who have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans in various ways.

“The ceremony contributes towards unity, reconciliation and building the nation. It is also a way that government gets to recognise the contributions made by individuals towards building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa as envisaged in the Constitution,” said the Presidency.

During the ceremony, President Zuma will bestow to deserving recipients the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

The Order of Mendi for Bravery recognises South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery. The order will be bestowed in Gold on Mpumelelo Washington Bongco posthumously for his exceptional contribution to the pursuit of equality and universal suffrage in South Africa.

“He never relented and paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and democracy,” said the Presidency.

The Order of Ikhamanga, which recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport, will be bestowed on Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane (posthumous) for his excellent contribution to the development of African literature and the upliftment of African languages on the global stage.

The Order of the Baobab recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation. The order will be bestowed in gold on James David Lewis-Williams for his exceptional and distinguished contribution to the field of archaeology. 

His research on the rock art of the ancient people of Southern Africa has contributed invaluable knowledge about their lives and times, according to the Presidency.

The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.

The order will be bestowed in silver to, among other recipients, William Frankel for his excellent contribution to the fight against apartheid. He helped raise funds for those detained by apartheid security forces and those charged under apartheid legislation.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is an Order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.

The Presidency said the order will be bestowed in gold on General Hashim Mbita of Tanzania posthumously for his exceptional and gallant support of African liberation movements.

Brian Mulroney of Canada will also receive it for his exceptional contribution to the liberation movement of South Africa. 

“His steadfast support for the release of Nelson Mandela and for imposing sanctions on South Africa's apartheid regime led to a free, democratic, non-sexist and non-racial South Africa,” said the Presidency.

President Zuma postponed the National Orders ceremony which was scheduled to take place on Freedom Day, 27 April 2015 as the country was mourning the passing of four South Africans and three citizens of other countries who were killed during violent attacks directed at foreign nationals in Durban and Johannesburg. - SAnews.gov.za

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