Order of Mapungubwe

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Order of Mapungubwe
Awarded by President of South Africa
TypeCivilian national order
Established6 December 2002
StatusCurrently constituted
  • Platinum (OMP)
  • Gold (OMG)
  • Silver (OMS)
  • Bronze (OMB)


The Order of Mapungubwe is a South African civilian honour awarded by the President of South Africa. It recognises South African citizens whose achievements have international impact and serve the interests of South Africa.[1] It is South Africa's highest honour.[citation needed]

The order is named after the ancient civilisation of Mapungubwe, which was located in modern-day South Africa.[1] It was instituted on 6 December 2002, and its first recipient (in the highest class) was former president Nelson Mandela.


The order originally had three classes, and was enlarged to four in 2004:

  • Platinum (OMP), for exceptional and unique achievements;
  • Gold (OMG), for exceptional achievements;
  • Silver (OMS), for excellent achievements; and
  • Bronze (OMB), for outstanding achievements.


The badge is a horizontal oval above an inverted trapezium. Inside the oval frame is depicted a golden rhinoceros with the sun rising above Mapungubwe Hill in the background. The convex upper edge of the trapezium is decorated with a beadwork pattern and the sides are edged with sceptres. In the centre is an ornate crucible from which molten gold flows down to a red furnace. The South African coat of arms is displayed on the reverse.

The ribbon is gold, edged with a line of cream-coloured bead-like dots along each edge, and recurring cream-coloured rhinoceros silhouettes down the centre. All four classes are worn around the neck.


Recipient Class Year Field of achievement Ref.
Nelson Mandela Platinum 2002 Liberation struggle, national reconciliation and nation-building, and global peace and justice
F. W. de Klerk Gold 2002 Peace, national reconciliation and nation-building
Allan McLeod Cormack Gold 2002 Science and CT scanning
Basil Schonland Gold 2002 Physics and foundation of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Peter Beighton Bronze 2002 Science and research into inherited skeleton disorders
Hamilton Naki Bronze 2002 Medical science
Sydney Brenner Gold 2004 Medicine, especially research in genetics
Tshilidzi Marwala Bronze 2004 Engineering science
Daya Reddy Bronze 2004 Mathematics and science
J. M. Coetzee Gold 2005 Literature
Aaron Klug Gold 2005 Medicine
Frank Nabarro Gold 2005 Science
Tebello Nyokong Bronze 2005 Science
Himladevi Soodyall Bronze 2005 Science
Selig Percy Amoils Silver 2006 Ophthalmology
George Ellis Silver 2006 Science
Lionel Opie Silver 2006 Cardiology
Patricia Berjak Silver 2006 Seed science
Claire Penn Silver 2007 Speech and language pathology, especially research into sign language, child language, aphasia and head injuries
Sibusiso Sibisi Silver 2007 Information technology, research and development and business technology
Valerie Mizrahi Silver 2007 Biochemistry and molecular biology, including tuberculosis drug validation
Doris Lessing Gold 2008 Literature and the elimination of colonialism and apartheid
Wieland Gevers Silver 2008 Higher education and medicine
Phuti Ngoepe Silver 2008 Natural sciences and computer modelling research
Tim Noakes Silver 2008 Sport and the science of physical exercise
Pragasen Pillay Silver 2008 Energy conservation
Mangena Maake Mokone Gold 2009 African Ethiopian Movement [2]
Hendrik J. Koornhof Silver 2009 Biomedical science [2]
Bongani Mayosi Silver 2009 Medical science [2]
Johann Lutjeharms Silver 2009/10 Oceanographic science [2]
Douglas Butterworth Silver 2010 Betterment of the environment and sustainability of fisheries
Monique Zaahl Bronze 2010 Genetics and research into iron overload disorders
Pieter Steyn Silver 2011 Chemistry and biosynthesis of mycotoxins
Oliver Tambo Platinum 2012 Exceptional leadership during the anti-apartheid struggle
Albert Luthuli Platinum 2012 Exceptional leadership during the anti-apartheid struggle
Barry Schoub Silver 2012 Virology
Patience Mthunzi-Kufa Bronze 2012 Biophotonics
Bernie Fanaroff Silver 2013 Astronomy and the Square Kilometre Array
George Ekama Silver 2013 Research into wastewater treatment
Glenda Gray Silver 2013 Research into mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS
Malegapuru William Makgoba Silver 2013 Transformation of higher education
Quarraisha Abdool Karim Bronze 2013 Research into HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis
Ismail Mohamed Silver 2014 Mathematics and political liberation
Hendrik Simon Schaaf Silver 2014 Medical science
William Soga Silver 2014 Medicine and anthropology
Namrita Lall Bronze 2014 Medical science
Zwelakhe Sisulu Gold 2016 Journalism [3]
Fulufhelo Nelwamondo Silver 2017 Science, especially electrical engineering [4]
Siyabulela Xuza Silver 2017 Scientific innovation [4]
Edna Molewa Gold 2019 Environmental justice
Malik Maaza Silver 2019 Nano-science
Ari Sitas Silver 2019 Social science
Thokozani Majozi Bronze 2019 Science, especially a novel mathematical technique for near-zero-effluent batch chemical facilities which enables the reuse of wastewater
Aboubaker Ebrahim Dangor Silver 2023 Physics [5]
Vhahangwele Masindi Silver 2023 Environmental sciences and water [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Order of Mapungubwe". The Presidency. Republic of South Africa. Archived from the original on 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
  2. ^ a b c d "National Orders awards December 2009". South African Government. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  3. ^ "President Jacob Zuma bestows 2016 National Orders Awards, 28 Apr". South African Government. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b "President Jacob Zuma bestows 2017 National Orders Awards, 28 Apr". South African Government. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Announcement of the 2023 National Order Awards nominated names by Director-General of The Presidency, Phindile Baleni". The Presidency. 16 April 2023. Retrieved 2023-05-02.

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