The Chancellor of the National Orders, Director-General of The Presidency, Phindile Baleni, announced the people who will receive National Orders, including the Order of Mapungubwe, at an investiture ceremony on Friday, 28 April 2023.
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THE NATIONAL ORDERS
South Africa has six National Orders:
- THE ORDER OF MENDI for Bravery recognises South African citizens for acts of bravery.
- THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA recognises South African citizens who have excelled in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sport.
- THE ORDER OF THE BAOBAB recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine, and technological innovation.
- THE ORDER OF LUTHULI recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice, and peace, as well as for the resolution of conflict.
- THE ORDER OF MAPUNGUBWE recognises South Africans who have accomplished excellence to the benefit of South Africa and beyond.
- THE ORDER OF THE COMPANIONS OF OR TAMBO recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is, therefore, an Order of peace, cooperation, and active expression of solidarity and support.
The Orders are awarded in three categories:
- Category 1 = Gold
- Category 2 = Silver
- Category 3 = Bronze.
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The Order of Mapungubwe is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement. It is named for the Mapungubwe Kingdom, which existed in the northern corner of South Africa a millennium ago. The Kingdom had a sophisticated state system and developed agriculture. It also developed a mining and metallurgy industry. The Kingdom traded with countries as far as China. During its time, it represented the excellence of human thought and ingenuity.
Unlike most orders, the Order of Mapungubwe differs from the norm and is awarded in the following classes: Platinum, Gold, and Bronze.
The award itself has the following elements:
- Four corners of the globe- symbolise the achievements of South Africans worldwide.
- Rising sun – the new dawn emerging from Africa.
- Mapungubwe Hill – forms the background, a sandstone hill on a mudstone deposit in an arid subtropical area with erratic summer rains. Excavations showed that excellence grew out of the most difficult natural circumstances.
- Mapungubwe rhino – the now most well-known artefact found in a grave at the excavation site, a gold-plated figurine formed around a soft core, probably sculpted wood, testimony to the excellence of human resourcefulness present in the Kingdom.
- Mapungubwe scepter – emerging from the gold melting pot on either side; another of the artefacts found in a grave at the excavation site.
- Decorated gold melting pot – the basic symmetric forms on the overflowing gold melting pot symbolise the abundance of excellence, science, and creativity, testimony to the earliest achievements in metallurgy.
- Furnace – the purifying and life-sustaining properties of fire, employed since the Iron Age to advance development and excellence in societies and communities.
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THE 2023 ORDER OF Mapungubwe: BESTOWED IN Bronze
Dr Aboubaker Ebrahim Dangor: For his admirable and distinguished contribution to the field of science through his groundbreaking research in physics.
Dr Vhahangwele Masindi: For his contribution to environmental sciences focusing on water. His work seeks to find much-needed solutions to the challenges of water scarcity in South Africa.
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