Presidency unveils National Orders recipients

2 Dec 2009

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen

It is my honour as Chancellor of the National Orders to announce that government will once again honour and recognise South Africans and foreign nationals at a National Orders ceremony on Friday, 11 December 2009. The upcoming National Orders will be the first to be officiated by President Jacob Zuma since he assumed office in May this year.

The National Orders are the highest awards that our country bestows on its citizens and foreign nationals who have contributed to our nation’s attainment and building of democracy and human rights. The National Orders, which are bestowed though a country’s president, also recognise the contributions made by individuals and groups who contributed and continue to contribute to a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma will bestow to deserving recipients the orders of Mapungubwe, Companions of OR Tambo, Luthuli, Mendi Decorations for Bravery, Baobab and Ikhamanga.

The Order of Mapungubwe which is the highest order is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement. The order will be bestowed in silver to:

  • Professor Hendrik J Koornhof, receives this award in recognition and honour of his excellent work and contribution in the field of biomedical science in South Africa
  • Professor Johan Lutjeharms, receives the award in recognition of his research excellence in his field of oceanographic science
  • Professor Bongani Mayosi receives this award in recognition of his excellent contribution in the field of research in medical science.

The Order of the Baobab is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service which is well above and beyond the ordinary call of duty. It is an award for exceptional and distinguished contributions in business and the economy, science, medicine and technological innovation and community service.

The order in gold is awarded to Reverend Mangena Maake Mokone (Posthumous) in honour and recognition of his pioneering spirit in the formation of the African Ethiopian Movement and as a champion and someone who laid the solid foundations of what will later germinate to the African and liberation theology.

The Order of the Baobab in silver is awarded to Thudiso Virginia Gcabashe for her selfless and courageous service to her community, as a devoted community worker and in recognition of her sterling dedication to women’s empowerment and commitment to the development of education for the rural and disadvantaged communities.

The Order of the Baobab in bronze is awarded to Elizabeth Georgina Firmstone in recognition of her sterling role and contribution in the improvement of education in our country and for her exemplary, instrumental and influential role in the field of education.

Victor John Ritchie also receives the order in bronze in honour of his selfless and tireless contribution in the educational field, especially the teaching of mathematics and science.

The Order of Mendi for Bravery is awarded to South African citizens who have performed an extraordinary act of bravery that placed their lives in great danger, or who lost their own lives including in trying to save the life of another person, or by saving property, in or outside the Republic of South Africa.

The Order of Mendi Decorations for Bravery in gold is awarded to Michael Festus Boikhutso (Posthumous) in recognition for his bravery and valour in the face of overwhelming odds and for sacrificing his life in the cause of justice, freedom and democracy.

Job Tabane (Cassius Maake) (Posthumous) receives the order in gold for his exceptional contribution to the struggle for freedom, displaying extreme courage against all odds and ultimately sacrificing his life for a democratic South Africa.

The Order of Mendi Decorations for Bravery in bronze is awarded to Phindile Ndlovu (Posthumous) for her selfless sacrifice and her fearless actions, in an attempt to save the lives of young children from the fire and thereby sacrificing her own life.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo is awarded to foreign nationals (heads of state and government) and other foreign dignitaries. It is awarded for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.

The order constitutes an essential pillar of international and multilateral relations.

The Order of Companions of OR Tambo is also 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 and her excellent contribution in facilitating land and developmental projects for South African exiles in Tanzania.

The order in silver is also awarded to Reverend William Cullen Wilcox and Ida Belle Wilcox (Posthumous) in recognition of their excellent contribution to the fight against colonialism policies and the struggle for equality and liberation of all South Africans.

The Order of Ikhamanga is awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The award in gold is awarded to Miriam Makeba (Posthumous) for her exceptional contribution to the field of music and the struggle for a free and democratic South Africa.

The order in gold is also awarded to Lewis Gordon Pugh for his exceptional sporting triumphs, humanitarian feats and creating consciousness about the negative effects of global warming.

Natalie du Toit will also be awarded with the order in gold for her exceptional achievements in the sporting arena and for her unparalleled merit.

The Order of Ikhamanga in silver will be awarded to Abdullah Ibrahim for his excellent contribution to the arts, putting South Africa on the international map and his fight against racism and apartheid.

Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya will also be recognised in silver for their excellent contribution to the field of music and struggle against apartheid.

The order will also be awarded to Jan Rabie (Posthumous) in silver a distinguished writer for his excellent contribution in literature.

The Order of Ikhamanga will also be awarded in bronze to Khotso Mokoena an athlete in recognition of the excellent work in being a good sporting ambassador of the country and for inspiring a nation to do better in all it does.

The Order of Luthuli is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.

The Order of Luthuli in gold is awarded to James Sofasonke Mpanza (Posthumous) for his exceptional contribution to the struggle for socio-economic rights and fighting for justice and restoration of the dignity of black people in urban settlements.

Peter Nchabeleng (Posthumous) receives the award in gold for his exceptional contribution to the fight against the apartheid system in South Africa.

The order in gold is also awarded to Johannes Phumani Phungula (Posthumous) for his exceptional contribution to the trade unions and political struggle against apartheid.

The Order of Luthuli in silver is awarded to David Rabkin (Posthumous) for his excellent contribution to the achievement of a non-racial, non sexist, just and democratic South Africa.

Dulcie Evon September (Posthumous) receives the award in silver for her excellent contribution to the struggle for a non racial, non sexist, just and democratic South Africa.

Simon Senna receives the award in silver for his excellent contribution to the struggle against apartheid and service to the people of South Africa.

Ahmed Timol (Posthumous) receives the award in silver for his excellent contribution and selfless sacrifice in the struggle against apartheid.

The Order of Luthuli in bronze is awarded Sina Keitsing for her outstanding contribution the struggle for liberation and providing safe passage to exiled cadres in Botswana during the struggle.

Nokuhamba Nyawo receives the award in bronze for her selfless role commitment and loyalty to the struggle for a peaceful, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.

We wish to congratulate the recipients and I thank you for joining us in celebration of outstanding South Africans and fellow foreign nationals.

I thank you.