President Jacob Zuma invited the public to nominate persons from "all walks of life" that they believe deserve the country’s highest honours. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday invited members of the public to nominate persons from "all walks of life" that they believe deserve the country’s highest honours, the national orders.

In a statement the Presidency said the next national orders awards investiture ceremony will take place in April 2018. 

The awards will honour South Africans and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed to the achievement of a free, united, non-racial, democratic, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa in various ways. 

Citizens who have sacrificed life and limb to save others and those who have excelled in various fields will also be honoured.

The Presidency said the ceremony contributes towards unity, reconciliation and nation building.
"The selection process of the awards will be processed and administered by the national orders advisory council appointed by the President of the Republic," said the statement, which warned against self nomination. The President is the grand patron of the national orders.
The members of the Council are Brigitte Mabandla (Chairperson), Mandla Langa (Deputy Chairperson), Dr Glenda Gray, Dr Molefi Oliphant, Dr Lindiwe Mabuza, Prof Malegapuru Makgoba, Sally Padayachie, Rev Buti Tlhagale, James Motlatsi, Dr Fazel Randera and Nothembi Mkhwebane
The are six awards include the Order of Mendi recognises South Africans who have performed acts of bravery, Order of Ikhamanga for excellence in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport, Order of the Baobab for contributions to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation, Order of Luthuli, which recognises 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 and the Order of Mapungubwe for exceptional achievement 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.
Nominations forms are available at

The Presidency urged those making nominations to attach a short motivation on the person nominated.  

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