Zuma to honour 29 people with National Orders

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pretoria - The late much-celebrated singer Miriam Makeba and long jump silver medalist Kgotso Mokoena will be among the 29 South Africans and foreign nationals to receive National Orders from President Jacob Zuma next week.

The President will bestow the highest awards during a ceremony at the Union Buildings next Friday. This will be the first time he has officiated the orders since taking office in May.

The honours are bestowed on individuals that have contributed to the country's attainment and building of democracy and human rights as well as those who contribute to a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

The late Makeba died last year after suffering a heart attack while taking part in a concert in Italy is to be honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga in gold for her exceptional contribution to the music field and the struggle for a free and democratic South Africa.

The order is awarded to South Africans who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The same order in bronze will be bestowed on long jump silver medalist Kgotso Mokoena in recognition of his good work as a sports ambassador and for inspiring the country.

The highest order, the Order of Mapungubwe, which is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement, will be awarded to three individuals in silver namely Professor Hendrik J Koornhof, Professor Johan Lutjeharms and Professor Bongani Mayosi.

Prof Koornhof will receive the award in recognition and honour of his work and contribution in the field of biomedical science while Prof Lutjeharms will receive it for research in the field of oceanographic science. Prof Mayosi will receive the award for his work in the field of research in medical science.

The Order of the Baobab, which is awarded for distinguished service which is above and beyond the ordinary call of duty, is awarded for exceptional and distinguished contributions in business and the economy, science, medicine and technological innovation and community service.

This order in gold will be awarded posthumously to Reverend Mangena Maake Mokone in honour and recognition of his pioneering spirit in the formation of the African Ethiopian Movement.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo which is awarded to foreign nationals will be awarded in silver to Anna Abdallah in recognition of her sterling contributions in fostering friendship and cooperation between Tanzanians and South Africans during the days of exile.

The Order of Luthuli, received by South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution, will be awarded posthumously to James Sofasonke Mpanza for his contribution to the struggle for socio-economic rights and fighting for justice and restoration of the dignity of black people in urban settlements.

The awards will honour 15 living and 14 posthumous recipients. Other recipients include jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim.