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National Orders

The Order of Mapungubwe

The central motif for this Order is Mapungubwe. A millennium ago, the amazing Kingdom of Mapungubwe existed in the northern corner of South Africa. It comprised a sophisticated state system, with highly developed agriculture, mining and metallurgy industries. The kingdom traded with countries as far afield as China. According to the Department...

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo

The late Oliver Reginald Tambo played a central role in the freedom struggle against apartheid, and dedicated his life to overthrowing the apartheid regime. He was known for his gentle character and compassionate qualities. His leadership of the struggle against apartheid, at an international level, galvanised world opinion against the...

The Order of Luthuli

Chief Albert Luthuli was a legendary liberation struggle leader and first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960. Although he grew up in tribal surroundings, Chief Luthuli believed in and fought for full political, economic and social opportunities for the oppressed people of South Africa. Because of his conviction and desire to see...

The Order of Ikhamanga

The beautiful and unique Ikhamanga flower (more commonly known as the strelitzia, crane or bird of paradise flower) has become one of the world’s most well-known flowers. Perhaps less known is the fact that it is indigenous to South Africa where it grows wild in the Eastern Cape. The Ikhamanga is the central motif of the Order of Ikhamanga and...

The Order of the Baobab

This Order takes its inspiration from what is seen by some to be the oldest life form in Africa, the Baobab tree, whose endemic distribution and peculiar appearance and features have made it emblematic of the tropical African landscape. Its sparse branch and leaf system (relative to its massively wide trunk) gives the Baobab (Adonsonia Digitata...

The Order of Mendi for Bravery

On 21 February 1917, the ship SS Mendi sank in the cold waters of the English Channel near the Isle of Wight, after being struck by another ship in an unfortunate naval accident. On board were more than 600 black South African volunteer soldiers en route to France to assist in the Allied war effort during the First World War.

The soldiers...