Zuma honours SA's greats at National Orders awards

2017-04-28 18:33
Peter Magubane. (Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

Peter Magubane. (Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

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Pretoria - World-renowned photographer Peter Magubane says his struggle has finally been acknowledged because South Africans now understand what he has been fighting for through his work.

He spoke after he received the Order of Luthuli in silver on Friday.

"My work of the past has been recognised by the people in my own country. People now understand what it is that I was fighting for," Magubane said after he received the honour from President Jacob Zuma at the presidential guest house.

He shared the award with African National Congress veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. He was one of 22 ANC veterans, arrested after the Rivonia treason trial and held in solitary confinement, who received the award.

The order recognises South Africans who contributed to the struggle for democracy, human rights, justice and peace.

Magubane said he endured months in solitary confinement during the apartheid era for his work.


He advised aspiring photographers to work hard and have the courage to take pictures.

"It is hard work. Don't be afraid of anything. Let your camera protect you. I used my camera as my protection."

Olympic gold medallist, sprinter Wayde van Niekerk, was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in gold for his performance in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Rower Matthew Brittain, who won gold in the 2012 London Olympics, received the silver version.

Brittain said he was humbled to have received the award. He encouraged the youth to work hard to achieve their goals.

Professor Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, 34, received the Order of Mapungubwe.

He was the first member of his family to attend university and complete a PhD in electrical engineering. He was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University, making him one of the youngest recipients in the country.

He said that coming from a rural area in Limpopo, he had to work hard to achieve his goals. He travelled daily to school two villages away because of his passion for science.

"I'm still shocked, I didn't expect it. I feel humbled," he said of his award.

Read more on:    wayde van niekerk  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria

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