President Thabo Mbeki to Confer National Awards

Media is invited to participate in the National Awards Ceremony to be presided over by President Thabo Mbeki as follows:

DATE: Tuesday, 3 February 2004

VENUE: Union Buildings, West Wing

TIME: 11H30-13H00


Please RSVP with Dumisani Nkwamba on 082 451 5583.

Enquiries: David Hlabane on 082 561 9428.

Issued by The Presidency: Republic of South Africa on 2 February 2004.
(For info: The statement below was released yesterday)



President Thabo Mbeki to confer National Awards

For immediate release:

President Thabo Mbeki will Tuesday, February 3, preside over the National Orders Ceremony at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, from 11H30 to 13H00.

The President will confer, posthumously, the Order of Ikhamanga to the Late Bessie Head and the Late Jacob Ntuli, and the Order of Luthuli to the Late Charlotte Maxeke and the Late Cissie Gool. The four distinguished individuals are amongst the December 2003 recipients of National Orders and Decoration. Tuesday's ceremony will therefore serve to conclude the Investiture Ceremony of New National Orders held December 2, 2003 at the seat of government, the Union Buildings, Pretoria.

The Order of Ikhamanga will be awarded to renowned African writer of international acclaim, Bessie Head, in gold, for exceptional contribution to literature and the struggle for social change, freedom and peace, and to Jacob Ntuli, in silver, for outstanding and pioneering achievement in the sport of boxing against the constructs of the erstwhile apartheid society.

We celebrate the achievements of these outstanding lives, on the eve of the Decade of Freedom, with pride and commitment to the reconstruction of our history.

The Director-General in The Presidency, Reverend Frank Chikane, underscored the significance of the National Orders by saying: "It is a mark of our condition and history that many [of our heroines and heroes] are not yet as universally known as they should be. It is my hope that these National Orders help correct that and overcome our historical polarization, which excluded or suppressed the creative spirit and talent of the majority of the people of South Africa."

Enquiries: David Hlabane on 082 561 9428

Issued by The Presidency: Republic of South Africa

1 February 2004

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