President Thabo Mbeki to honour Extraordinary Men and Women

Twenty-six extraordinary men and women, some of whom have passed on, will receive the highest awards South Africa bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals at a prestigious event to take place on Thursday, 20 April.

The President of the Republic, Mr Thabo Mbeki, will for the first time in this landmark year of anniversaries in which we commemorate the golden jubilee of the historic women's march to the Union Buildings in 1956 and the 30th anniversary of the Soweto uprisings in 1976 - bestow National Orders of our democratic and freed nation. They are the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo and the Order of Mapungubwe. This is the seventh time South Africa has had the occasion to salute such distinguished men and women.

Eight distinguished individuals will be admitted to the Order of the Baobab. They are:

  • Grace Masuku, for her outstanding contribution in the field of environmental conservation;
  • Mamohau Ntsoane, for her outstanding contribution in the field of community upliftment and social welfare;
  • Ivan Toms, for his outstanding contribution to the struggle against apartheid and sexual discrimination;
  • Sheena Duncan, for her excellent contribution to the struggle for a non-sexist, just and democratic South Africa;
  • Wolfram Kistner, for his excellent contribution to the fight for justice, equality and democracy in South Africa;
  • Lindiwe Myeza, for her excellent contribution to the economic upliftment of women and underprivileged communities in South Africa;
  • Barney Pityana, for his excellent contribution to a just and democratic South Africa and for the spiritual upliftment of the oppressed and
  • Epainette Mbeki, for her exceptional contribution to the economic upliftment of the underprivileged communities in the Eastern Cape and her commitment to the fight against apartheid.

The Order of Luthuli will be presented to those who have served the interests of South Africa by making a meaningful contribution in the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace as well as conflict resolution. They are:

  • Fort Calata (posthumous), Sicelo Mhlauli (posthumous), Sparrow Mkhondo (posthumous) and Isaac Lesiba Maphotho, for outstanding contribution and dedicating their lives to a free, just and democratic South Africa;
  • Ruth First (posthumous), for excellent contribution to the struggle against apartheid and promoting media freedom in South Africa;
  • Joe Nzingo Gqabi (posthumous), for excellent contribution to the struggle for a non-racial, just and democratic South Africa;
  • Ama Naidoo and Amina Pahad (both posthumous) for excellent contribution to the struggle for democracy, equality and justice in South Africa;
  • Albert Louis Sachs, for excellent and selfless dedication to human rights activism and the struggle against apartheid;
  • John Tengo Jabavu (posthumous), for his exceptional contribution to South African journalism and his commitment to a non-sexist, non-racial and democratic South Africa; and
  • Pixley Seme (posthumous), for exceptional contribution to the struggle for a non-racial, just and democratic South Africa.

Six individuals from outside our country will be admitted into the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo. They are:

  • Sotiris Mousouris of Greece, for excellent contribution to South African journalism and fighting for the ideals of freedom and justice;
  • Anthony Sampson of England (posthumous), for his excellent contribution to the struggle and for contributing to the development of the African continent;
  • Modibo Keita of Mali (posthumous), for exceptional contribution to the liberation struggle of the African continent;
  • Seretse Khama of Botswana (posthumous), for exceptional contribution to the struggle against apartheid through supporting the liberation movement in times of need, and contributing to the development of the African continent; and
  • King Moshoeshoe of Lesotho and King Sobhuza of Swaziland (both posthumous) for exceptional contributions to the struggle against apartheid through supporting the liberation movement in times of need.

The Order of Mapungubwe - for persons whose activities can only be described as excellent and unmatched - will be presented to George Ellis for his excellent contribution in the field of science and putting South Africa on the world stage.

The ceremony will be held at the Union Buildings, Tshwane, starting at 10H30.

Enquiries:

David Hlabane
Cell: 082 561 9428

Lindo Nkomonde
Cell: 082 875 9631

Issued by: The Presidency and Government Communications (GCIS)
18 April 2006

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