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Source: The Presidency
Title: Chikane: National Orders awards ceremony
OPENING REMARKS BY THE CHANCELLOR OF NATIONAL ORDERS, THE REVEREND
FRANK CHIKANE, AT THE AWARD CEREMONY OF THE NEW NATIONAL ORDERS
HELD AT THE UNION BUILDINGS, Tshwane, 2 December 2003
The President of the Republic of South Africa and Mme Zanele
The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa
His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini and Her Majesty
Distinguished Nominees of the National Orders and their
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers
The Speaker of the National Assembly and the Deputy Speaker
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and the
Your Excellency, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps
Honourable Leaders of Political Parties represented in our
Members of the Judiciary
His Worship, the Acting Mayor of the Metropolitan City of
Honoured Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen
We welcome you to this Second Investiture Ceremony of the new
National Orders on behalf of the President and the Government of
the Republic of South Africa.
May I, with your permission, borrow from your words in the Speech,
Africa's Time Has Come, and say that:
It is not given to every generation that it should be present
during and participate in the act of creation. I believe that ours
is privileged to occupy such historic space.
I wish to submit, Mr President, that our generation is indeed a
privileged one. We are privileged, Mr President, more than any
other generation to be part of this historic act of conceiving and
designing new National Orders and the new Coat of Arms for this new
democratic country. We are privileged as a generation to be part of
the conception and design of a new national flag as well as develop
a new national anthem. We are privileged to be part of the process
of self-creation, of defining who we are and what we want to
Indeed we do occupy, Mr President, a historic space such as the one
you refer to in your speech.
The difficult and complex task you gave us to develop new National
Orders to express the new identity of our new democratic society
has been accomplished. The Order of Luthuli, the Order of Ikhamanga
and the Mendi Decoration are ready for you, Mr President, to honour
these distinguished South Africans present here and those who are
In this regard, I would like to thank you, Mr President, for
leading us in creative thinking and artistic work, for driving us
to think 'outside the box' of traditions of old and static
conventions of heraldry, to break new ground and create something
new! I must confess that you never made our lives easy. The task of
course, was not easy.
I wish to also thank the Advisory Council for National Orders for
their dedicated work, advice and guidance in the development of
these new Orders. Dr Yvonne Muthiuen, the Chairperson of the
Council, offered many hours of her time on this project to ensure
that we have the new Orders completed on time.
The actual designers of these last three Orders, Mr President,
deserve special recognition. Accordingly, I wish to present to you,
Mr President, and to this august convocation Messrs Gold Mametja
and Gareth Smart. Their perceptive minds have given rise to these
creative designs. They have used their craft to capture the
unknown, the new identity and being of the new South Africa
As you would know, Mr Gold Mametja designed the first three
National Orders, namely, the Order of Mapungubwe, The Order of the
Supreme Counsellor of the Baobab and the Order of the Companions of
OR Tambo. As you would know, Mr Mametja is an Industrial Designer
at the CSIR. We thank the CSIR for availing him to serve the nation
in the special way in which he has done.
Mr Gareth Smart, a freelance graphic designer, animator and
conceptualist, joined Gold Mametja this time to participate in this
extra-ordinary creative work for our country.
I would like, Mr President, to thank them on your behalf and on
behalf of the people of South Africa. Their creative genius has
really done our country proud.
I would also like to thank the Ministers and staff in the
Presidency, GCIS and Arts, Culture, Science and Technology for
their immense contribution to the process of developing these
Orders and for arranging for this Ceremony. Mr Mandla Feni, the
Secretary of the Chancery, has done sterling work to support this
And, finally, we wish to acknowledge the presence of Dr Albertinah
Luthuli who has graced us with her presence. We are greatly
honoured to have you with us in this ceremony. Your esteemed family
name has been institutionalised in our national orders, for which
we are eternally thankful.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I now commend to you these exceptional women
and men for the honours as the President has determined.
But, before you start with the Ceremony may I, Mr President,
express our utter sadness and anguish, for death has robbed us of
one of the distinguished nominees of the Order of Ikhamanga, Dr
Lionel Ngakane. He passed away last Wednesday after the President
had put his seal on his nomination.
As you would know, Dr Ngakane distinguished himself in South
Africa, on the African continent and internationally in the fields
of cinema, television, theatre and radio as an actor, writer and
May I take this opportunity, Mr President, to express our
condolences to the family and friends. His brother, Dr Pascal
Ngakane, is here with us and we ask him to convey our condolences
to the family on our behalf.
May I request, Mr President that this Convocation rise and observe
a moment of silence in honour of this great son of the soil whose
soul has suddenly departed. (A moment of silence). I thank you. May
his soul rest in peace!
Mr President, may I now invite you as Grand Master and Patron of
National Orders to commence with the Award Ceremony for the Orders
of Luthuli, Ikhamanga and the Mendi Decoration.