Pretoria - Ambassador of France to South Africa Christophe Farnaud, bestowed on South African Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, the award of Officier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (or Officer in the French Legion of Honour) on behalf of the French president at the French Residence in Pretoria on Friday
Pandor is recognised for her remarkable, life-long achievements and for her efforts in nurturing and furthering the cooperation between France and South Africa in the field of science, technology as well as vocational and academic training during her time as Minister of Science and Technology and Higher Education and Training.
The French Legion of Honour celebrates the accomplishments of distinguished individuals, irrespective of sex, social background and nationality.
The national order of the Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, and is the highest decoration in France.
It was first awarded on 14 July 1804.
Since 1994, Pandor has served as minister of Education, minister of Science and Technology, minister of Home Affairs and minister of Higher Education and Training.
“Minister Pandor is a key political figure in South Africa. Her passion for science and education spans throughout her successful career and even spills over into the rest of her life. Her actions have been prominently inspired by the idea that both education and science should be key role players for solving critical issues in this country,” said Farnaud.
Pandor said: “We are committed to the very longstanding friendship between our two countries... The French people and government have granted this honour to persons we regard as illustrious – the heroes and heroines of our country”.
Other prominent South Africans who have been awarded this honour are former President Nelson Mandela, late struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late Edna Molewa.