Ramaphosa lauds recipients of National Orders as country’s heroes

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the recipients of this year’s National Orders as the heroes of South Africa.

Speaking at the National Orders awards ceremony in Pretoria, attended by friends and families of both living and deceased recipients, Ramaphosa highlighted the significance of the awards.

These awards aim to recognise distinguished citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed to the advancement of democracy and have positively impacted the lives of South Africans.

The National Orders comprise six categories, including the Order of Mendi, Ikamanga, Baobab, Luthuli, Mapungubwe, and Companions of OR Tambo, recognising various contributions to South African life, from anti-apartheid activism to the arts, journalism, business, science, and social justice.

Ramaphosa has emphasised that recipients are nominated by the South African public. “The truest test of heroism is that these acts are not done for the sake of name, prestige, fame, and fortune; they are done out of conscience and an unwavering responsibility that many of them carry. They are born out of a quest for social justice they are anchored in the belief that the achievement of equality of human dignity for all is the highest aspiration of humankind.”

National Orders | President Ramaphosa delivers his Ceremonial Oration as Grand Patron of the Orders

Ramaphosa honoured a total of 31 exceptional South Africans with the 2024 National Orders Awards at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse.

Among the recipients was Professor Mulalo Duyoyo, a renowned scientist and academic in the aerospace field, who received the Order of Mapungubwe posthumously. His sister, Chifiwa Duyoyo, received the award on his behalf, expressing pride in her brother’s achievements.

She says, “Its only God who knows why he could not make him wait to receive this honour himself but we are here as a family very proud of my brother, coming from a humble background from Vondwe village to be specific – so we are so proud because he made such a great contribution with his research and his invention.”

“Some of his inventions include the Sinocell, which is a cementless concrete. He also made Amoriguard creations which is a painting and recently he made liquid cement but I think he was a great encourager especially for your students because he has mentored many people who are now doctors, who are now engineers,” she added.

The Order of Mapungubwe recognises individuals who have achieved excellence and exceptional accomplishments for the benefit of South Africa and beyond.

President Ramaphosa bestows National Orders