SA's birthday honours

2012-04-24 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG-BORN author Muthal Naidoo, former KZN policemen Frank Dutton and the late Lwandle Magadla, as well as “Le Zoulou Blanc” Johnny Clegg, are among this year’s recipients of South Africa’s national orders.

They are among 31 South Africans and foreign citizens who will be honoured on Freedom Day by President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria.

Naidoo said she was amazed when she was told of the award and was still asking: “Why me?” — given that she felt there were others far more deserving of recognition.

A prolific writer, Naidoo is still writing at 76 and has just published a children’s book titled Emerging Heroes.

She is working on a biography, but is not as yet ready to name the subject of her work, as well as a novel.

Naidoo recalls having fun during the apartheid days lampooning apartheid collaborators.

Dutton was among those who exposed the apartheid government's “third force” in KZN. He and his partner Magadla cracked several cases, including linking station commander Brian Mitchell and other police officers to the 1988 Trust Feed massacre in New Hanover.

They will be conferred the Order of the Baobab (Gold), along with human rights activist and law professor John Dugard.

Magadla, who died last year, will receive the award posthumously.

He is also credited with warning ANC leaders in the early 1990s that they would be targeted by the then regime, in the process saving the lives of Zuma and UDF leader Archie Gumede.

He later became the ANC’s head of intelligence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Press ombudsman and former Pan Africanist Congress founder and activist Joe Thloloe and Eastern Cape rugby boss Cheeky Watson — a staunch proponent of dumping the Springbok as the emblem for the national side — will also be honoured.

Along with Naidoo and Clegg, they will receive the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver).

The Reverend Fenner Kadalie, the late father of former human rights commissioner and outspoken newspaper columnist Rhoda Kadalie, will receive the Order of the Baobab (Silver) posthumously.

Kadalie said yesterday she and her mother would travel to the Union Buildings to receive the award.

As the youngest son of South Africa’s first black trade unionist, Clements Kadalie, Fenner Kadalie eschewed politics, but according to his daughter, “served communities better than any politician”.

Several former ANC presidents, including Pietermaritzburg’s Josiah Gumede, will receive the Order of Luthuli (Gold) posthumously in the ANC’s centenary year.

Chief Albert Luthuli and O.R. Tambo, who have national orders named after them, will also be honoured with the Order of Mapungubwe (Platinum).

Other ANC activists who will be honoured include the late former youth league leader and deputy Home Affairs minister Peter Mokaba, who receives the Order of Luthuli (Silver) posthumously.

The Order of the Baobab (Bronze) will be conferred on aerobatics champion Selwyn “Scully’ Levin for his immense contribution to and achievement in aviation and the piloting field.

Only five other women will be honoured this year along with Naidoo. They include Zane Maureen Wilson, for her work in the field of mental health and Dr Patience Mthunzi, for her achievements in the field of biophotonics and scientific research.

Foreign citizens to receive the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo include the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (Gold).

Russian academic Professor Apollon Davidson, who counted several ANC leaders among his pupils, and African-Amercian lawyer Randall Robinson will be conferred the same order, but in silver.

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