DAWN and Cornelius Basson say they are so proud of tehir son Chad. Picture: Tracy-Lynn Ruiters, Weekend Argus
DAWN and Cornelius Basson say they are so proud of tehir son Chad. Picture: Tracy-Lynn Ruiters, Weekend Argus

Slain Mitchells Plain teen honoured by president with National Order of Mendi for bravery

By Tracy-Lynn Ruiters Time of article published Nov 21, 2021

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THE father of slain hero Chad Basson described the moment he received the National Order of Mendi for Bravery on behalf of his son as “ bitter-sweet”.

Cornelius Basson beamed with pride as President Cyril Ramaphosa presented the award to him on behalf of his son on Thursday at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.

Chad was 19 years old when he was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in 2018 in Mitchells Plain. Chad threw himself in front of his friends when a volley of shots was fired.

At the time, residents believed Chad and his friends, who had been attending a 21st birthday party, might have been mistaken for gangsters.

After his death, his parents, Cornelius and Dawn Basson made it their mission to seek justice for their son and to find the person responsible for his death.

The parents then did their own investigation and found that the hit man, Jeffrey “Percy” Afrika, fled to Port Elizabeth.

After two years, Afrika was successfully arrested with the help of the Anti-Gang Unit’s Detective Sergeant Bradley Schuurman.

At his home in Lentegeur, Basson smiled from ear to ear, showing off his son’s award which will be added to a wall of remembrance which has pictures of Chad, who was a proud Manchester United fan.

DAWN and Cornelius Basson say they are so proud of tehir son Chad. Picture: Tracy-Lynn Ruiters, Weekend Argus

“One of the highest orders in this country belongs to my so;, it's just still so heartbreaking that he wasn't there to receive it. Neither will it bring him back, but I’m still so proud of the person he was, to offer up his own life.

“To be honest, I would swop this award any day just to have my son back again.”

Basson admitted there was a moment when he broke down during the ceremony.

“It's like I could feel Chad there. As if he was telling me, Daddy, it was all worth it. I also wore his suit and got lots of compliments.”

Basson said he entered his son into the National Order awards three years ago but thought he had been unsuccessful when he didn't get a call back.

CHAD Basson has been awarded with the National Order of Mendi for Bravery. Picture: Tracy-Lynn Ruiters, Weekend Argus

“When I saw the Order of Mendi for Bravery, Chad’s picture appeared before me; I entered because to me and many others he is a hero.

“Then last month the Presidency informed me that he was being granted the silver award.”

According to the Presidency, the national order recognises many outstanding individuals who defied great odds and made immense sacrifices.

A statement from the Presidency said: “The outstanding individuals that we honour are, in different ways, champions of freedom, peace, human rights, social justice and equality.

“Regardless of the sphere of life in which they applied themselves, the recipients of the awards have honoured and upheld the values which combined represent the highest ideals of humanity.

“The Order of Mendi for Bravery in Silver was awarded to Chad Basson, who took a bullet when he shielded a stranger during a gang shootout. It was awarded posthumously as Basson lost his life during his act of bravery,” said the statement.

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