Media Statement on the National Orders Ceremony
Thabo Mbeki will bestow South Africa's highest awards to citizens and eminent
foreign nationals for distinguished and exceptional conduct at the National Orders
Ceremony to be held at the Union Buildings in Tshwane on 26 April 2005 at 10H00.
ceremony will be the fifth since the adoption of the new system of National Orders
which marked the country's symbolic break with the history of racial segregation
Following the adoption of the new National Flag in 1994,
the unveiling of the new Coat of Arms in 2000 and the new National Anthem, the
adoption of the new National Orders affirmed further the nation's commitment to
a new humanism free from all forms of marginalization, be they on the basis of
race, gender and/or other divisive notions of power.
The first ceremony
of National Orders was held on 10 December 2002 at the Union Buildings, at which
the first awards for the Order of Mapungubwe, the Order of the Companions of OR
Tambo and the Order of the Baobab were bestowed. This was followed by the ceremonies
held on 2 December 2003, 16 June 2004 and 29 October 2004.
The Orders to
be bestowed at the April 2005 Award Ceremony are the following:
Order of Mapungubwe, which is awarded to South African citizens for achievements
that have impacted internationally and served the interests of the Republic;
Order of the Baobab, which is goes to South African citizens for distinguished
service in the fields of business, the economy, science, medicine, technological
innovation and community service;
- The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo,
meant for eminent foreign nationals and other foreign dignitaries for friendship
shown to South Africa; and
- The Order of Luthuli, reserved for South African
citizens who have served the interest of South Africa by making a meaningful contribution
in areas such as the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice,
peace and conflict resolution.
Also, this year's Award Ceremony will
be commemorated by the South African Post Office which will issue, on 26 April
2005, a set of six stamps depicting South Africa's National Orders.
prestigious event also takes place on the eve of South Africa's celebration of
Freedom Day, on 27 April 2005. This fact, coupled with the careful selection of
recipients, both black and white, across the gender-divide, thus expresses symbolically
the government's commitment to the building of a South Africa that truly belongs
Amongst the twenty-six recipients, John Langalibalele Dube and
Anton Lembede are honoured for the precious lives they gave selflessly to the
noble struggle for the freedoms that are now indelibly enshrined in the Preamble
to the Constitution of the Republic of South, Act 108 of 1996.
Bebe Mothopeng is one of the finest daughters of South Africa's struggle for social
change who distinguished themselves by contributing to the empowerment and upliftment
For more information you may call David Hlabane on
082 561 9428.
Issued by The Presidency on 21 April 2005.