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Four former state presidents of African countries will be among the proud recipients of the National Orders to be awarded by President Cyril Ramaphosa at a ceremony to be held at the Union Buildings on April 28.
This was announced by Dr Cassius Lubisi, chancellor of the national orders, in Pretoria.
Lubisi said the four presidents will be bestowed with the Order of the Companion of OR Tambo, which recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa.
One of them is the second president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, who will receive the Order in gold for his instrumental role in transforming his country into a thriving democracy.
The late Botswana president Sir Ketumile Masire will be honoured posthumously in the same category for his execeptional contribution to the struggle for peace and liberation in South Africa, Rwanda and the Southern African region.
Lubisi said: “He worked tirelessly in ensuring that Africans were liberated from oppression and colonial rule.”
Masire’s counterpart former Namibian president Sam Nujoma will receive the same award for opposing the then apartheid government of South Africa.
Lubisi said Nujoma led forces that fought alongside South African freedom fighters.
Described as the founding father of a free Namibia, he also posed a formidable challenge to the oppressive regimes in the Southern African region.
In addition, Ramaphosa will bestow honours on the first woman president in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.
“The honour will be for her exceptional contribution to women’s leadership in the African continent. She tenaciously contained conflicts in a volatile region while ensuring recovery and development of newly founded democracies in Africa,” said Lubisi.
Legendary South African musician Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse will be awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for his contribution to music and social cohesion.
Other recipients in the same category will be honoured for their contribution in the fields of arts, culture, literature, journalism and sport.
Veteran actress Lillian Dube will be bestowed with the award for her contribution to the performing arts and raising awareness in women’s health issues throrugh storytelling.
Retired judge Dikgang Moseneke will be honoured for his outstanding contribution to the field of law and the administration of justice in the country.
Lubisi said: “National Orders are the highest awards that our country bestows on our citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed to the advancement of democracy and who have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans. The National Orders also recognise the contributions made by individuals who contributed to a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and properpus South Africa as envisaged in our Constitution.”Source: The Independent
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