Honours, awards and other forms of recognition

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Elected Honorary President of the Students’ Union, University College, London


Elected Honorary President of the Students’ Union, University of Leeds, Britain


A nuclear particle discovered at the University of Leeds named the Mandela particle


Honorary life membership of the Students’ Union, The University of London

1979, 29 Sept

Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Law, University of Lesotho, Maseru

1980, 14 Nov

Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, New Delhi, India


Freedom of the City of Glasgow on 4 August. The scroll was accepted on behalf of Mandela by the Vice-President of Nigeria

Road named after Mandela by the London Borough of Brent

Seventeen-thousand-signature petition handed to South African Embassy in Paris calling for release of Mandela

Dr Bruno Kreisky Prize for merit in the field of human rights, Vienna, Austria


Elected Honorary Life President of the Students’ Union at the London School of Economics and Political Science

By August 1982 a total of 2,000 mayors in 53 countries worldwide had signed a petition for Nelson Mandela’s release

Organisation of African Unity called for release of Nelson Mandela


Honorary citizenship of Rome, February. Scroll received by Vice-President of Mozambique

Honorary citizenship of Olympia (original site of the Olympic Games), Greece, 17 March

Honorary Doctorate of Laws. City College of New York, 5 June

City Council of Dublin, Ireland, unveiled sculpture in a city park by Elisabeth Frink dedicated to Nelson Mandela, 26 June

Award of the order ‘Star of International Friendship’ in gold by the German Democratic Republic, 18 July

City Council of Harlow, United Kingdom, renamed one of its major roads in honour of Nelson Mandela, 18 July

AUEW (TASS), on of Britain’s major trade unions, held a special ceremony to rename their executive committee room the ‘Nelson Mandela Room’, 18 July

Freedom of London Borough of Greenwich, 20 July

UNESCO awards its first Simon Bolivar International Prize jointly to Nelson Mandela and King Juan Carlos of Spain at a ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bolivar, 24 July

City Council of Leeds, Britain, names the Civic Hall ‘Nelson Mandela Gardens’, 10 December

Twelve members of the United States Congress call for Nelson and Winnie Mandela to be made honorary citizens of the USA

Second chamber of Netherlands parliament asks Netherlands government to urge South African government to release Nelson Mandela and all South African political prisoners

Seventy-eight members of British parliament call for Nelson Mandela’s release

Park in Hull, Britain, named ‘Mandela Park’

Labour Party of Britain invites Nelson Mandela as a guest of its Annual Conference

Netherlands government informs the South African government that it is prepared to grant Nelson Mandela political asylum and requests his release

Nominated for election to the Chancellorship of the University of Natal, South Africa, by the Students’ Representative Council

Honorary LLD, University of Lancaster, Britain

City of Cardiff, Wales, named a street after Nelson Mandela

The students of Warwick University, Coventry and South Bank Polytechnic Students Union named rooms in honour of Nelson Mandela

New York City renamed square in front of South African mission to the United Nations ‘Nelson and Winnie Mandela Plaza’


Honorary Degree, Free University of Brussels, 13 January

Camden Borough Council, London, names the street where the Anti-Apartheid Movement has its headquarters as ‘Mandela Street’.

The British pop group Special AKA releases a record called ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ which becomes a hit

Hackney Council, London, renames a housing block after Nelson Mandela, April

Playa Giron Award, Cuba, awarded by Fidel Castro

Honorary membership of National and Local Government Officers Association [NALGO] Britain

Haringey Borough Council, London, names housing development after Nelson Mandela

Resolution sponsored by 135 Congressman in US House of Representatives calling for release of Nelson Mandela approved by acclamation by House Foreign Affairs Committee and approved by Senate

Synod of Nedertuitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Africa (NGKA) calls for release of Nelson Mandela

Monument to Nelson Mandela unveiled in Merrion Square, Dublin

Bishop Trevor Huddleston presents 50,000 signatures on international petition to Javier Perez de Cuellar, UN Secretary General. calling for the release of Mandela and all South African political prisoners

Elected Honorary Member of the Students Association, University of Strathclyde. Scotland

Freedom of the City of Wijnegen, Belgium

Awarded Star of International Friendship, German Democratic Republic, 27 August

Freedom of the City of Aberdeen conferred on both Nelson and Winnie Mandela, 29 November

School in German Democratic Republic named ‘Nelson Mandela School’


Revenue Staff Federation, Britain, names its Commonwealth trade union scholarship after Nelson Mandela

London Borough of Southwark names new road ‘Mandela Way’

Nottingham City Council names a room in a sports centre

Mayors representing more than fifty British towns and cities march through London in full ceremonial dress to ask the Prime Minister to take further steps to secure Nelson Mandela’s release

The 1985 Third World Prize, awarded annually by the London-based Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, awarded jointly to Nelson and Winnie Mandela

Awarded freedom of the City of Hull, UK.

Awarded the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize by Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, 29 March

Nigerian writers organisation, Writers and Journalists Against Apartheid (WAJAAP), confers title of Life Patron

City of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, UK, renames its speakers’ corner Nelson Mandela Corner, September

Freedom of the City of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October

Honorary citizenship of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October

Diploma of Honour and Friendship from the University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October

Statue of Nelson Mandela erected in London by Greater London Council, unveiled by Oliver Tambo on 28 October

Senegal’s President Abdou Diouf inaugurates Soweto Square and Nelson Mandela Avenue in the centre of Dakar, 6 December

Awarded Doctor of Laws degree by Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, December


Elected Honorary Life President of the National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa

Awarded the W E B DuBois International Medal by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP)

Coventry City Council named new building after Mandela

Presented with the Alfonso Comin Foundation Peace Award in Barcelona, Spain

Freedom of the Borough of Islwyn, Wales, given to Winnie and Nelson Mandela

Awarded International Peace and Freedom Award by the Workers International Centre, Stockholm Sweden

Awarded, with Winnie Mandela, the Third World Prize by the Strategic and International Studies Group of Malaysia, 5 May

Honorary Doctorate of Laws, University of Zimbabwe

Park in Leicester, England, named after Mandela

Honorary membership awarded to Winnie and Nelson Mandela by the National Union of Seamen, Britain

Street in Glasgow, Scotland, where South African Consulate is sited, renamed after Mandela


First person to receive the Freedom of the City of Sydney, Australia, 9 January

Honorary Degrees, Winnie and Nelson Mandela, United States Ross University Medical School in the Caribbean

Named Patron of Isipingo and District Football Association, Natal

Honorary Degree, University of Michigan, USA

Honorary Degree. University of Havana, Cuba

Honorary Citizen, City of Florence, Italy

Topped a poll in the Johannesburg newspaper, Sowetan, of the people its readers would like to run South Africa

Honorary Doctorate, Karl Marx University of the German Democratic Republic, Leipzig, 11 November


Awarded Bremen Solidarity Prize, Federal Republic of Germany

Nelson and Winnie Mandela given honorary membership of the National Union of Teachers, Great Britain

Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Concert, Wembley Stadium, London, 11 June. Attended by audience of 72,000 and seen on television by close to a billion people in over 60 countries

Awarded freedom of the City of Dublin, Ireland

Awarded the Sakharov Prize

Honorary Doctorate conferred, University of Carabobo, Venezuela, June

People of Levkada, Greece, award the Medal of Peace, August

Honorary citizenship conferred by nine Greek municiplaities: Egaleo, Ellenikon, Glyfada, Ilioupolis, Daissariani, New Filadelfia, Nikaea, Preveza and Zogrofu

Honorary degree in Political Science awarded by the University of Bologna, Italy, 12 September

Honorary citizenship bestowed by the Town Council of the city of Bologna, Italy, September

Awarded the United Nations Human Rights Fourth Award, 10 December

‘Nelson Mandela Road’ named, New Delhi, India, 10 December


Agusto Cesar Sandino Award bestowed by Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, Managua, 21 February

Freedom of the Municipality of KweKwe, Zimbabwe, conferred in March. Award received by Oliver Tambo

Awarded Peace Prize of the Tipperary Peace Committee, Ireland

Nuremberg Platz renamed ‘Nelson Mandela Platz’, Nuremberg, Germany, June

Honorary Doctorate of Laws, York University, Toronto, Canada, 16 June

Square in Clayes-sous-Bois, France, named ‘Nelson Mandela Square’, September

Wednesday 15 June 2011 14:43

In 1995, 14 December, Harvard Business School Statesman of the Year Award


Made Honorary Life President of National Union of Mineworkers when he addressed its Central Committee, 21 April

Granted freedom of the City of Harare, Zimbabwe, March

‘Mandela Day’, a public holiday declared in Zimbabwe on 5 March

Awarded the Lenin Peace Prize for 1990, May

Bestowed the Dr Antonio Agostinho Neto Order, the highest honour of the People’s Republic of Angola, 12 May

Bestowed the award ‘Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’, Lagos, 14 May

Awarded Al-Qadafi International Prize for Human Rights in Tripoli, Libya, 19 or 20 May

Honorary degree in political science by the Cairo University, Egypt, 19 or 20 May

Bestowed ‘Bharat Ratna’, India’s highest civilian award, October

Doctorate, honoris causa, conferred by University of Malaya, November

Honorary Doctorate in law, University of Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, 28 November



Honorary LL.D Degree conferred, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 6 September

Awarded Carte-Menil Human Rights Prize, 8 December


Received 1991 UNESCO Peace Prize, Paris, 3 February

Installed as Chancellor of the University of the North, 25 April

Honorary LL.D Degree conferred by the University of Fort Hare, 9 May

Honorary Doctorate conferred at the Sheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal, 30 June

Presented with the Freedom of Miami Beach Medallion of Honour, Johannesburg, 29 September

Pakistan conferred the Nishan-i-Pakistan Award, 3 October

Asturias Prize of International Co-operation awarded, Oviedo, Spain, 31 October

Received the “Spirit of Liberty” award at the “People for the American Way” award ceremony, 8 November


Received Gleitsman Foundation International Activist Award, Johannesburg, 12 May

Received, with President F W de Klerk, Philadelphia Liberty Medal Award. Presented by President Clinton, Philadelphia, USA, 4 July

Honorary Degree conferred, Clark University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 10 July

Received Apostolic Humanitarian Award, Johannesburg, 15 September

Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Soochow University, Taiwan, 1 August

Awarded J William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, Washington, 1 October

Received Honorary Degree from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, 8 October

Awarded Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, Norway, 10 December



Received the New Nation/Engen Man of the Year Flame of Distinction award, 24 March

Elected Newsmaker of the Year, with Deputy President F W de Klerk, by the Johannesburg Press Club, 25 May. Prof Kader Asmal received the award on 29 September

Received the Hunger Project’s 8th annual Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, London, 19 July

Received Anne Frank medal for human rights and tolerance, Johannesburg, 15 August

Received Sheikh Yusuf Peace Award from the Moslem Women’s Federation, 10 September

Received the Arthur A Houghton Star Crystal Award for Excellence from the African-American Institute, 6 October

Honorary Doctorate, Howard University, 7 October

Received freedom of the town of Tongaat, KwaZulu/Natal, 21 October (initially granted in 1989)

Received the Olympic Gold Order from International Olympic Committee president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Cape Town, 16 November

Received Man of the Year Award from the Greek Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Southern Africa, Johannesburg, 19 November

Honorary Doctorate awarded by University of South Africa

Awarded the “Commonwealth Champion of Health” medal, received by South African athletes at the Commonwealth Games, Canada



Africa Peace Award – sponsored jointly by the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – presented at a ceremony in Durban, March

Nelson Mandela Road to Katse, Lesotho, inaugurated, 13 July

Received Pretoria Press Club’s 1994 Newsmaker of the Year Award, Pretoria, 20 July

Granted the Freedom of Uitenhage, Uitenhage, 14 September

Awarded Honorary Fellowship of the College of Medicine of South Africa, Johannesburg, 17 October

Harvard Business School Statesman of the Year Award, 14 December

Human Rights Institute, with President Mandela as honorary chairman, launched in London by the International Bar Association, December



Awarded honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland

Indira Gandhi Award for International Justice and Harmony bestowed. Award received by Justice Minister Dullah Omar in New Delhi, India, January

U Thant Peace Award bestowed by Sri Chinmoy, 29 January

Awarded the National Order of Mali (Grande Croix), Mali’s highest decoration, Bamako, 3 March

Received the Freedom of the City of London, London, 10 July

Received Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, de Montfort, Glasgow, Caledonian, London, Nottingham, Oxford and Warwick, Buckingham Palace, London, 10 July

Received Honorary Doctorate from Sorbonne University, Paris, 15 July

Received Honorary Doctorate from Stellenbosch University, 25 October

Received the Freedom of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, 29 November



Awarded Honorary Degree by the University of the Philippines, Manila, 2 March

Received Freedom of the City of Pietermaritzburg, 25 April

Received Freedom of the City of Bloemfontein, 16 May

Baker Avenue in Central Harare, Zimbabwe, Renamed Nelson Mandela Avenue, 19 May

Received Freedom of Boksburg, 26 June

Received Freedom of Oxford, UK, 11 July

Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, 17 July

Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Cape Town, 19 September

Received the American Public Health Association Presidential Citation, Pretoria, 14 October

Awarded the Collar of the Nile by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Cairo,21 October

Received Freedom of City of Edinburgh, Scotland, 27 October

Received Freedom of City of Cape Town, 27 November

Received Honorary Degree from the University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 4 December



Received Honorary Doctoral Degree from the University of South Australia, University of Fort Hare, 23 April

Awarded Honorary Doctorate, University of Zululand, 30 May

Awarded the Freedom of the City and County of Cardiff, Cardiff, 16 June

Awarded the Chris Hani Award at the 10th National Congress of the South African Communist Party, Johannesburg, 1 July

Awarded Honorary Degree by the University of Mauritius, 11 September

Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Harvard University, Boston, 18 September

Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, Washington, 23 September

Awarded Canada’s highest honour, appointment to the Order of Canada, 24 September

Presented with Award in Recognition of his Contribution to Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom by the Supreme Council of Sport in Africa, 19 November



Received the Deutscher Medienpreis, Baden Baden, Germany, 28 January

Awarded the Oneness-Peace: Earth-Summit-Transcendence-Fragrance Award, Pretoria, 9 March

Received the Golden Medal of the City of Amsterdam, Netherlands, 10 March

Received honorary doctorate from Leiden University, the Netherlands, 12 March

Awarded the Freedom of the City of Durban, Durban, 16 April

Received Honorary Doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 30 April

Received Ukraine’s Highest Decoration, the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, Cape Town, 5 May

Appointed Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia, Canberra, 9 June

Received Jesse Owens Global Award, Johannesburg, 21 September

Received insignia of Honour from the African Renaissance Institute, Johannesburg, 11 October

Received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Botswana, Gaborone, 14 October

Received the Baker Institute Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service at Rice University, Houston, 26 October

Awarded the Freedom of the City of Lydenburg, Lydenburg, 3 November

Received the Order of Australia from Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Pretoria, 15 November

Presented with the Temple of Understanding Annual Award to Religious and Political Leaders for Outstanding Service to Humanity, Cape Town, 5 December

Presented with the Gandhi-King Award by the World Movement for Non-violence at the Parliament of World Religions, Cape Town, 5 December



Awarded the Queen’s Council by the House of Lords, United Kingdom, 3 May

Awarded SABS Gold Medal, Sandton, 10 June

BT Ethnic Multicultural Media Award, London, 29 June

Received World Methodist Peace Award, London, 29 June

International Freedom Award, Memphis, Tennessee, 22 November


International Ghandi Peace Prize, Presidential Palace, New Delhi, 16 March

Made an Honorary Freeman of Leeds, 30 April

Made an Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, 2 May

Awarded the first King Shaka Award in recognition of bravery, 25 July

Park Public School renamed Mandela Park Public School, Toronto, Canada, 17 November

Received honorary doctorate of law from Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, 17 November

Granted Honorary Citizenship of Canada, 19 November

Awarded the LLD Honoris Cause from the University of the Free State

Awarded the D Tech Education Honoris Cause from the Technikon Free State

Human Rights Lifetime Achievement award by the SA Human Rights Commission, Johannesburg 11 December



Awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, 6 April

Awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Ghana, South Africa, 24 April

Awarded the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom Medal, Middleburg, The Netherlands, 8 June

Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award, by George W Bush, Washington, USA, 9 July

Awarded for Outstanding Children’s Literary Work from Robert Weil representing the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People — the oldest civil rights organisation in the United States, 7 May


Awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Britain’s Open University, Cape Town 4 February

Received the Congressional Medal of Achievement from the Philippine Congress, Manila 25 March


2006, 1 Nov

Amnesty International bestowed its most prestigious honour – the Ambassador of Conscience Award 2006 – on Mandela in Johannesburg. The award recognises exceptional individual leadership in the fight to protect and promote universal human rights. Amnesty international spokesperson Bill Shipsey said Mandela had come to symbolise all that was hopeful and idealistic in public life more than any other living person. “Mandela, through his fight and victory against apartheid, showed the world that no problem is too difficult to solve.” Mandela is the fourth recipient of the award since its inception in 2003. Previous recipients are the Irish rock group, U2; poet and politician Vaclav Havel; and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson. Accepting the award, Mandela said he had been struggling for human rights for many years and the award was a step towards fighting injustices in the whole world.


The Freedom of the Cities Award was conferred by the Tshwane mayor, Gwen Ramokgopa, on the former president. The event, broadcast live to Pretoria’s Church Square, was held in privately at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton. Earlier during the award ceremony, a group of striking SA municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) members disrupted proceeding. When Mandela spoke after the ceremony, he said: Remember the horror from which we come… Never forget the greatness of a nation that has overcome its division. Let us never descend into destructiveness and divisiveness…” He was referring to the destruction caused by the striking workers. He accepted the award saying that that he accepted it “warmly and with humility”.


On 15 September Mandela received the Mexican government’s highest award for foreigners, the Order of the Mexican Eagle. His wife, Graca Machel, gave the assurance that “he is fine, he is healthy, but as he himself says, he is old” when she accepted the award on his behalf in Pretoria.

Mexico’s ambassador to South Africa, Luis Cabrera, handed over the award “for one of the world’s greatest freedom fighters” at a reception marking the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence. He said it was for prominent service to Mexico and to humankind.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon had hoped to give Mandela the award personally at the opening match of the World Cup between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City on June 11, Cabrera said. Mandela cancelled his attendance after his great-granddaughter died in a car crash.