Zuma honours recipients of National Orders

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma honoured men and women who have made great contributions to South Africa's democracy by bestowing National Orders on them at a ceremony at the Presidential Guesthouse.

The recipients were recognised for their acts of bravery, for their contribution in educating others and for their role during the struggle for freedom.

Speaking at the ceremony last night, Zuma said the country's freedom came at a huge cost and not a price possible to repay.

"Whenever we celebrate Freedom day we are reminded about such instances of injustices, and our historical past that not so long ago we had no freedom, no peace and no injustice to celebrate.

"Many people who dedicated their lives in the struggle for a free, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa, cannot be with us today," he said.

National Orders are awarded to deserving citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed meaningfully towards making the country a free, democratic and successful nation, united in its diversity.

Government made the decision to hold the National Orders Awards Ceremony on Freedom Day to properly honour all those who have made sacrifices and a meaningful contribution to the country's freedom, at national as well as on the international level.

The following orders were awarded: the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of Mapungubwe and the Order of Companions of OR Tambo.

The recipients for the Order of Mendi are Neil Johnson Sharrocks, for putting his life at risk saving the lives of 44 children who were in danger of drowning when the bus they were traveling in capsized and fell into the river and Michael Janse van Rensburg (posthumous) for the act of bravery, courage and fearlessness by putting his life in danger to save a fellow human being who was drowning.

For the Order of Ikhamanga, the recipients are Gladys Faith Agulhas, Jonathan "Johnny" Clegg, Muthal Naidoo, Joseph Nong "Joe" Thloloe, Daniel "Cheeky" Watson and Julian Sebothane Bahula.

For the Order of Baobab, the recipients are Selwyn "Scully" Levin, Gladys Ramahuta, Zane Maureen Wilson, Professor Daniel Gerhardus Krige, Reverend Fenner Christian Kadalie (posthumous), Professor Christopher John Robert Dugard, Frank Kennan Dutton, Lwandle Wilson Magadla (posthumous), John Stephen Gomas (posthumous), Elizabeth Sophia Honman (Bettie du Toit) (posthumous) , Peter Ramoshoane Mokaba (posthumous), Josiah Tshangana Gumede (posthumous), Zaccheus Richard Mahabane (posthumous) , Sefako Mapogo Makgatho (posthumous), James Sebebubijwasekgogobontharile Moroka (posthumous) and Alfred Bitini Xuma (posthumous) .

Recipients for the Order of Mapungubwe are Dr Patience Mthunzi, Professor Barry David Schoub, Albert Mvumbi Luthuli (posthumous) and Oliver Reginald "OR" Tambo (posthumous).

For the Order of Companions of OR Tambo, the recipients are, Professor Apollon B Davidson, Randall Robinson and Edward M Kennedy (posthumous).

"We salute and congratulate each and every one of you being honoured with our highest honours in the country, the National Orders, you are indeed an inspiration to us all. South Africa is proud of you," he said.

President Zuma also acknowledged the role played by police officers, teachers and nurses saying they are not often recognised and yet they are core in building a prosperous society.

"People in uniform, our police, the army, nurses and teachers are not always celebrated in our country for the role they play while they are core in building a prosperous country. We pay respect to those who have played a critical role in dealing with crime and led some complex investigations on solving politically motivated crimes, thus contributing immensely in the creation of a stable and peaceful society.

The event was attended by among others, politicians, cabinet members and some of the country's well-known personalities.

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