/ 17 April 2008

Recipients named for 2008 national orders

Awards will be bestowed on a musician, a judge and a former chief of state of protocol, Billy Modise, during next week’s 11th National Orders ceremony.

Modise, United States musician and singer Harry Belafonte and Chief Justice Pius Langa are just some of those who will be recognised at the ceremony, Director General in the Presidency Frank Chikane said on Thursday at the unveiling of the names of the recipients at the Union Buildings.

Modise is to receive the Order of Luthuli in silver and Belafonte will received the Order of Companions of OR Tambo, also in silver. Langa is to receive the Order of the Baobab.

Belafonte will be in the country to receive his award.

Another recipient of the silver Order of the Baobab is Bill Hoffenberg for his contribution to the field of medicine and opposing apartheid policies. He was banned from the country in the 1960s and was a physician to former African National Congress (ANC) members in exile.

He became one of Britain’s most prominent medical figures and personal physician to former ANC president Oliver Tambo.

Chikane described the award winners as ”extraordinary people”.

”The national orders are prescribed in the national Constitution of the Republic of South Africa that part of the responsibility of the president is to honour extraordinary people in South Africa who serve in one form or another … in making a contribution to the country,” he said.

”Outstanding” is how Yvonne Muthien, the chairperson of the advisory council for the awards, described the list of the 34 people recipients. She helped Chikane unveil names of the recipients, some of whom will receive their awards posthumously.

Chikane said: ”I’m of the view that as the years go by, we’ll be more current rather than past and we’ll have less posthumous honours.”

Magdalene Resha is one of those who will receive a posthumous award. She served the ANC during its struggle against apartheid.

Linda Biehl, mother of murdered Amy Biehl who forgave her daughter’s killers, is to receive the Order of the Companion of OR Tambo in silver.

Amy, a Fulbright scholar who was in the country to help with voter registration for South Africa’s first democratic election, was murdered in Khayelitsha in 1993.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in gold will go to former Commonwealth secretary general Chief Emeka Anyaoku.

President Thabo Mbeki will present the awards on Tuesday at the Union Buildings.

Last year’s recipients included swimming star Roland Schoeman, former Springbok rugby captain and manager Morne du Plessis, former head of the National Olympic Committee Sam Ramsamy and businessman Richard Maponya. — Sapa