- President Cyril Ramaphosa will bestow national orders to eminent South Africans and foreign nationals next week.
Former UCT vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, and Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza are among the 11-member national orders advisory council appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi will be one of the recipients of the national orders next week.
On Sunday, the Presidency announced the new members who will advise and assist Ramaphosa in nominating South Africans and foreign nationals to be bestowed with national orders.
In another statement, director-general in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni, in her capacity as the Chancellor of the national orders, announced those who would be bestowed with the orders on 28 April.
National orders are the highest awards the president bestows to “eminent” South African and foreign nationals. Phakeng, who recently parted ways with UCT, is a recipient of the Order of the Baobab, which she received in 2016.
This award recognises South African citizens who have contributed, among others, to science, medicine, and technological innovation. Ramaphosa has appointed author and struggle liberation activist Mandla Langa as the advisory committee chairperson.
In 2007, Langa was bestowed with the Order of Ikhamanga for his contribution to the struggle against apartheid, his contribution to literature, and for serving post-apartheid South Africa in different institutions.
Other recipients of the national orders that now form part of the advisory council include respected researcher and co-founder of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit at Wits, Dr Glenda Gray, legendary isiNdebele songstress Nothembi Mkhwebane, double-gold Paralympic swimmer Natalie du Toit, and musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka.
Other members of the council are: Dr Patience Mthunzi-Kufa, who is the head of Biophotonics research at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, who will be Langa’s deputy, as well as the Gauteng Chairperson of the South African National Non-governmental Organisation Coalition Puseletso Madumise; Professor Sarojini Nadar, a transdisciplinary researcher within the fields of gender and religion; and Aspen Pharmacare group’s senior executive Stavros Nicolaou.
Ramaphosa thanked those who served on the previous advisory council.
In a statement, Baleni announced Kolisi and Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis, as those who would be bestowed the Order of Ikhamanga for their contribution to sports.
It was announced that Kolisi would be bestowed the Order of Ikhamanga in gold: “For his inspirational leadership and contribution to rugby. He is a trailblazer in democratic South Africa by being the first black person to captain the Springboks to World Cup glory.”
It said Ellis, whose Order would also be gold, had made an “excellent contribution to football, a male-dominated sport”.
“Her sustained excellence provides encouragement to women to excel in their respective fields of endeavour,” the statement read.
Other recipients of the Order of Ikhamanga include the creator of the popular TshiVenda drama Muvhango, Duma Ndlovu, and the creator of television soapie Generations, Mfundi Vundla.
For the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo, which recognises eminent foreign nationals, the orders will be bestowed, among others, to US songwriter and singer Tracy Chapman.
The statement said Chapman is being recognised “for her contribution to the fight for freedom by participating in efforts to free Nelson Mandela and raising awareness of human rights violations globally”.
The Order will also be bestowed to Jamaican reggae musician Peter Tosh for his contribution to the liberation struggle using music “through incisive and awareness-raising lyrics”.
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