Photographer David Goldblatt is refusing to accept a national order in protest against the Protection of State Information Bill passed by parliament, the Mail&Guardian reported on Friday.
“I decline the award in protest against what has been done to the spirit in which the award was created,” Goldblatt told President Jacob Zuma in a letter explaining why he was renouncing the Order of the Ikhamanga Silver award, the newspaper reported.
He said South Africa's rebirth was characterised by its march towards humanity, a new culture of human rights and a respect for human dignity.
The government and the party which had passed the bill were in contempt of that spirit Ä which was the spirit in which the national orders were conceived.
“To accept the Order of Ikhamanga from you... would be to endorse your contempt. I refuse to do that and, very sadly, I decline the honour.”
In March, Goldblatt accepted the Order of Ikhamanga Silver when he was told by the Chancellor of Orders that it had been awarded to him.
He did not attend the ceremony of presentations on April 27, but was told the award would be presented to him on April 27 next year.
The Order of Ikhamanga is awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. - Sapa