Order of Mapungubwe

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Order of Mapungubwe
Order of Mapungubwe.jpg
Awarded by President of South Africa
TypeNational Order
StatusCurrently constituted
  • Platinum (OMP)
  • Gold (OMG)
  • Silver (OMS)
  • Bronze (OMB)
Order of Mapungubwe (RSA) - ribbon bar.gif

The Order of Mapungubwe is South Africa's highest honour.[1] It was instituted on 6 December 2002, and is granted by the President of South Africa, for achievements in the international arena which have served South Africa's interests. 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
  • Bronze (OMB), for outstanding achievements.

The order is named after Mapungubwe,[2] an ancient African nation which existed a thousand years ago in what is now the northern part of the Limpopo province.

The first recipient of the order (in the Platinum class) was the late former president Nelson Mandela.


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.




No awards presented.






  • Doris Lessing – Gold (literature, contributing to the elimination of colonialism and apartheid)
  • Wieland Gevers – Silver (higher education and medicine)
  • Phuti Ngoepe – Silver (natural sciences, development of computer modelling studies at the University of Limpopo)
  • Tim Noakes – Silver
  • Pragasen Pillay – Silver (energy conservation)


No awards presented.



  • Pieter Steyn – Silver (contribution to and achievements in chemistry and biosynthesis of mycotoxins)


  • Oliver Tambo (posthumously) – Platinum (for exceptional leadership during the anti-apartheid struggle)
  • Albert Luthuli (posthumously) – Platinum (for exceptional leadership during the anti-apartheid struggle)
  • Barry David Schoub – Silver (for achievements in virology)
  • Patience Mthunzi-Kufa – Bronze (for her contributions to the field of biophotonics and her invaluable contribution to scientific research in South Africa and internationally)[3]


  • Bernie Fanaroff – Silver (for his excellent contribution to astronomy and dedication in putting South Africa on the map with the SKA Project)[4]
  • George Ekama – Silver (for research in water solutions)
  • Glenda Gray – Silver (for research in mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS)
  • Malegapuru William Makgoba – Silver (for his pioneering work in transforming higher education)
  • Quarraisha Abdool Karim – Bronze (for her work in the fields of HIV/AIDS and TB research)


  • Ismail Mohamed (posthumously) – Silver (for his contributions to mathematics and political liberation)
  • Hendrik Simon Schaaf – Silver (for his contributions to medical science)
  • William Soga (posthumously) – Silver (for his contributions to medicine and anthropology)
  • Namrita Lall – Bronze (for her contributions to medical science)


No awards presented.


  • Zwelakhe Sisulu – Gold (for his exceptional contribution to quality journalism; and as a reporter exposing the cruelties of apartheid and encouraging unity among the people of different political persuasions to fight for liberation)[5]


  • Fulufhelo Nelwamondo – Silver (for his excellent contribution to the field of science, particularly electrical engineering)
  • Siyabulela Lethuxolo Xuza – Silver (for his excellent contribution to scientific innovation at an early stage, proving to himself and others that through determination and hard work one can achieve new career heights)[6]


No awards presented.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Order of Mapungubwe". The Presidency. Republic of South Africa. Archived from the original on 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
  2. ^ "The Presidency | The Order of Mapungubwe". Archived from the original on 2012-05-01.
  3. ^ "Dr Patience Mthunzi | The Presidency". www.thepresidency.gov.za. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  4. ^ "Dr Bernie Fanaroff". South African Presidency. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  5. ^ "President Jacob Zuma bestows 2016 National Orders Awards, 28 Apr". South African Government. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  6. ^ "President Jacob Zuma bestows 2017 National Orders Awards, 28 Apr". South African Government. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.

External links[edit]