President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday bestowed the 2018 national orders on distinguished citizens and eminent foreign nationals.
“Yesterday [Friday], as South Africans we celebrated our freedom, a freedom that was attained through the work of many of the people who we are going to be honouring today,” Ramaphosa said at the prestigious event at the Sefako Makgatho presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.
“These national orders are essentially a recognition of the many outstanding individuals who defied great odds to make an immense contribution in various spheres of life.
“Our freedom opened windows of opportunity for many to chase their dreams, for many to excel, to succeed, and in so doing to inspire others to reach beyond what they imagined was possible themselves. We dedicate this year’s ceremony to the memory of the father of our nation, former president Nelson Mandela, who more than any other embodied the spirit and the meaning of these national orders,” he said.
The national orders are bestowed on distinguished South African citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have played a momentous role towards building a free and peaceful democratic South Africa and improving the lives of humanity in various ways.
On Saturday, the presidency said Ramaphosa was bestowing the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo to “deserving recipients”.
Among the guests were former president of Mali Alpha Conare, and former president of Namibia Samuel Daniel “Sam” Nujoma, among many diplomats and senior government officials.
Watch a video of the event below, courtesy of SABC.
National orders are the highest awards that South Africa bestows, through the president, on citizens and members of the international community, who have contributed meaningfully towards making the country a free, democratic and successful nation.
The orders highlight various achievements and contributions made by South Africans and foreign nationals and are given on different levels such as platinum, gold, silver and bronze.
Among the recipients of the Order of Luthuli is retired Justice Dikgang Moseneke for his contribution to “the field of law and the administration of justice in South Africa”.
Former Liberian president and the first female president on the African continent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will receive the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo for her efforts towards women’s leadership on the continent.
The following South Africans and foreign nationals received the following orders:
The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport will be bestowed on:
Journalist Traci Mackie
Athlete Elsa Meyer
Cricket player Hashim Amla
Artist and Historian Omar Badsha
Boxer Eric Rishimati Baloyi
Musician Johan Botha (posthumously)
Actress Lillian Dube
Musician Hotstix Mabuse
Athlete Elana Meyer
Artist John Koenakeefe Motlhankana (posthumously)
Artist Thami Mnyele (posthumously)
Actress Advocate Nakedi Ribane
Rugby player Johan Smit
Soccer player Neil Tovey
The Order of Baobab which recognises distinguished service in the areas of community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation will be bestowed on:
Businessman Maduke Lot Ndlovu (posthumous)
Activist Nkosinathi Freddy Ndlovu
Activist Violet Seboni
The Order of Luthuli which 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 will be bestowed on the following recipients:
Anti-apartheid activist Ronald Bernickow (posthumously)
Anti-apartheid activist Sylvia Benjamin (posthumously)
Anti-apartheid activist Godfrey Beck
Anti-apartheid activist Lillian Diedericks
Political activist Mary Fitzgerald (posthumously)
Writer and political activist Farid Essack
Anti-apartheid activist Swaminathan Gounden
Anti-apartheid activist Reverend Charles Hooper (posthumously)
Anti-apartheid activist Sibongile Mkhabela
Major General Keith Mokoape
Anti-apartheid activist Rahima Moosa (posthumously)
General Moreti motau
Anti-apartheid activist Zondeni Sobukwe
Inkosi Mhlabunzima Maphumulo (posthumously)
Anti-apartheid activist Mama Dora Tamana (posthumously)
The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo which recognises friendship shown to South Africa by foreign dignitaries or heads of state and other eminent foreign persons for friendship to South Africa will be bestowed on:
Activist Rosita Johnson
Ambassador Alexander Sergeevich Dsasokhov
Russian parliamentarian Vyacheslav Tetekin
Former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano
Former president of Botswana Sir Ketumile Masire
Former president of Namibia Dr Samuel Daniel Nujoma