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Recipients of National Orders for Literature Announced but Ceremony Postponed Because of Xenophobic Violence

Children of ParadiseMihloti ya tinganaDr Cassius Lubisi, Chancellor of National Orders, has announced that Orders of Ikhamanga are to be bestowed on Themba Patrick Magaisa and posthumously on Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane.

The honours were to be awarded on Freedom Day, Monday, 27 April 2015. However, the Presidency has released a statement announcing that the ceremony will be postponed “as the country is mourning the deaths of seven people that were killed during violent attacks on foreign nationals last week”.

The Freedom Day anniversary will however still be marked on 27 April at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The National Orders are South Africa’s highest honour for eminent citizens and foreign nationals, and are awarded in recognition of a contribution to democracy and improving the lives of South Africans.

Magaisa and Mzamane will be given the Order of Ikhamanga, which recognises excellence in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. Previous recipients of the award for literature include Mandla Langa, Sindiwe Magona and Zakes Mda, whose order was bestowed last year.

The order is being bestowed in Bronze on Magaisa, who is the author of a number of Xitsonga books including Mihloti ya tingana. Magaisa won South African Literary Awards (SALAs) in 2012 and 2014.

Themba Patrick Magaisa: For his outstanding contribution to the development of indigenous literature in South Africa. His literary work has enriched the primary and secondary education curricula in our country.

Mzamane, who passed away in 2014, will posthumously be awarded the order in Silver. He is the author of a number of novels, including Children of Paradise, and was described by Nelson Mandela as a “visionary leader and one of South Africa’s greatest intellectuals”.

Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane (Posthumous): For his excellent contribution to the development of African literature and the upliftment of African languages on the global stage.

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