Acts of valour and excellence were honoured by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he bestowed the National Orders on South African and foreign nationals who have played a significant role in the development of South Africa.
This year’s National Orders, conferred on 25 April, honoured people from all walks of life, including:
Mhlongo, who has starred in many television and cinematic films, received the Order of Ikhamanga. She starred in Sarafina, A Love in Africa and Taxi to Soweto, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress award.
The veteran actress has had leading roles in Soul Buddyz, Yizo-Yizo and Hlala Kwabafileyo, which won her a best Comedy Performer award. In 2011, she was nominated as the best supporting actress at the Sixth Africa Movie Academy Awards. She is the mother of celebrity Somizi Mhlongo
Yvonne ìChaka Chakaî Mhinga
Mhinga’s career spans decades. Known as the Princess of Africa, the artist-cum-philanthropist has produced time-withstanding music with albums such Umqombothi, her debut album I’m in love with the DJ and its sequel Thank you Mr DJ. Mhinga is involved in charity work through her Princess of Africa charity organisation which champions change in health and education. She received the Order of Ikhamanga.
The former all-rounder is regarded as one of the top professional cricketers.
In the 166 test matches he played for South Africa, he came close to matching India’s Sachin Tendulkar’s world record for centuries scored. Kallis was named the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2008 Wisden Awards. In 2005, he was crowned the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Player of the Year and ICC Player of the Year. In 2013, he become the fourth batsman in the world to pass 13 000 test runs. He was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga.
Madagascar President Admiral Didier Ignace Ratsiraka
The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo was awarded to the two-time former Madagascar president. The former head of state allowed the ANC to set up Radio Freedom during the struggle against apartheid. Ratsiraka also allowed freedom fighters from the liberation movement to settle in his country.
The late Edna Molewa
In recognition of her exceptional environmental contribution, the former Minister of Environmental Affairs was posthumously awarded the Order of Mapungubwe. She held a number of positions in government, including Premier of the North West. Molewa championed the establishment of three United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation world heritage sites and acted in place of the President eight times during her era, which began in 2009 and ended with her death in 2018.
Prof Ari Sitas
The Order of Mapungubwe was conferred on the South African BRICS Think Tank chairperson Prof Sitas. Currently, he is the country’s BRICS Think Tanks council representative. The founder member of Junction Avenue Theatre Company is also the Head of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. He has published The Mandela decade 1990-2000: labour, culture and society in post-apartheid South Africa, the RDP Poems and The Flight of the Gwala-Gwala Bird, among other publications.
Chemical and metallurgical engineering professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Majozi received the Order of Mapungubwe. Majozi has made significant scientific contributions in the area of chemical process integration. The researcher has been awarded for his work, receiving the Burianec Memorial Award in Italy, the S2A3 British Association Medal (Silver) and the South African Institute of Chemical Engineers Bill Neal-May Gold Medal. He is a credited author and co-author of more than 190 scientific publications.
For his activist role in championing sign language and the human rights of hearing-impaired people around the world, Jordaan received the Order of the Baobab. Born profoundly deaf to deaf parents, Jordaan is a World Federation of the Deaf representative.
One of the founding officials of the Government Communication and Information System, Trew received the Order of Luthuli. The politician and discourse analyst was awarded for his role in the struggle against apartheid as well as his input into government communications, which is still visible today. Trew served in the Office of President Nelson Mandela.