Zuma confers national orders

2013-04-27 21:00

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Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma paid tribute to "outstanding" South African citizens and foreign nationals by awarding them with national orders at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria on Saturday.

"By acknowledging and paying homage to our heroes and heroines, the ceremony elevates the spirit expressed in the preamble of our Constitution," Zuma said.

"Today we are honouring individuals who walked the extra mile to improve the lot of humanity and have contributed in elevating our country to great heights among other nations."

Zuma said national orders were the highest awards that a country, through its president, bestows on individuals who have made a positive and meaningful contribution to the country's social, economic and political advancement.

The orders are: the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of Mapungubwe, and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

National orders are conferred yearly on Freedom Day, April 27.

Zuma urged the recipients of the awards, and South African in general, to continue the good work.

"We have achieved much in various aspects of our lives in the country, and much more will be achieved if we work together as one nation. Together we must demonstrate that after apartheid there is no force that will successfully divide us."

Olympic swimming champion Chad le Clos, football legend Kaizer Motaung and Lead SA activist Yusuf Abramjee were on the list of recipients.

The full list

United States civil rights activist Jesse Jackson is also on the list of activists, politicians, musicians, and scientists who will be honoured at the weekend.

Chancellor of the national orders Cassius Lubisi announced the full list at the Union Buildings on Monday.

Lubisi said Le Clos would be awarded the silver Order of Ikhamanga because of his achievements at the 2012 London Olympics.

"For his excellent achievements on the international swimming stage, especially at the London Olympics, thus placing South Africa in high standing globally in the field of aquatic sport," said Lubisi.

A representative received the award on behalf of Le Clos.

The Order of the Baobab recognises citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation.

Academic and project director of the Square Kilometre Array, Dr Bernie Fanaroff, was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe in silver.

This category honoured South Africans who had accomplished excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of the country and beyond, said Lubisi.

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