Republic of South Africa: 2002-
The Republic of South Africa was reconstituted as a democratic state in April 1994. The government continued to confer the "old" South Africa's civil honours until December 2002, when the current series was introduced.
Order of Mapungubwe (2002- )
Awarded for achievements in the international arena, in the interest of South Africa. Divided into four categories:
Platinum (OMP) - for "exceptional" (2002-04) or "exceptional and unique" (2004- ) achievements. President Nelson Mandela is the only recipient of this class.
Gold (OMG) - for "excellent" (2002-04) or "exceptional" (2004- ) achievements.
Silver (OMS) - for excellent achievements.
Bronze (OMB) - for outstanding achievements.
Insignia: A wedge-shaped badge depicting gold flowing from an upright crucible, topped by an oval cartouche displaying a golden rhinoceros and Mapungubwe hill (obverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon .
Order of Mendi for Bravery (2003- )
Initially (2003-04) called the "Mendi Decoration for Bravery". Awarded, to both civilians and military personnel, for bravery in saving life or property. There are three categories.
Gold (OMBG) - for conspicuous bravery.
Silver (OMBS) - for exceptional bravery.
Bronze (OMBB) - for bravery.
Insignia: An oval medal in the shape of an African shield, depicting a blue crane bird flying above the World War I troopship Mendi, within a frame decorated with lion's pawprints (obverse). The OMBG is worn on a neck ribbon, and the other two classes are worn on the chest.
Order of the Baobab (2002- )
Awarded for service to South Africa in the fields of business and the economy; science, medicine and technological innovation; and community service. Until 2003, also awarded in the fields now covered by the Orders of Luthuli and of Ikhamanga. Divided into three categories:
Supreme Counsellor (SCOB) - for exceptional service.
Grand Counsellor (GCOB) - for distinguished service.
Counsellor (COB) - for dedicated service.
Insignia: An irregular oblong gold, silver or bronze medal, textured to represent tree bark, and displaying a baobab tree inside a green circlet (obverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon.
Order of Luthuli (2003- )
Awarded for contributions to South Africa in the struggle for democracy; building democracy and human rights; nation-building; justice and peace; and conflict resolution. Recipients include academics, activists, and retired politicians. Divided into three categories:
Gold (OLG) - for exceptional contributions.
Silver (OLS) - for excellent contributions.
Bronze (OLB) - for outstanding contributions.
Insignia: A triangular medal representing a flintstone, depicting the sun rising over Isandhlwana mountain, the national flag, and a clay pot flanked by cow's horns (obverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon .
Order of Ikhamanga (2003- )
Awarded for achievements in the arts, culture, literature. music. journalism, and sport, in the interest of South Africa. Divided into three categories:
Gold (OIG) - for exceptional achievements.
Silver (OIS) - for excellent achievements.
Bronze (OIB) - for outstanding achievements.
Insignia: A pear-shaped medal depicting a rising sun, two strelitzia (ikhamanga) flowers, a "Lydenburg head", an African drum, and a stylised road (obverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon.
Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo (2002- )
Awarded to foreign citizens only, for service in the mutual promotion of international relations, or promoting South African interests and sharing South African aspirations. Recipients include Kofi Annan, the late Dr Martin Luther King, and the late Mahatma Gandhi. Divided into three categories:
Supreme Companion (SCOT) - for excellent co-operation and active solidarity and support (heads of state and, in special cases, heads of government).
Grand Companion (GCOT) - for outstanding co-operation, solidarity and support (heads of government, ministers of state, judges, presidents of legislatures, secretaries of state, ambassadors, commanders-in-chief, and others).
Companion (COT) - for co-operation, solidarity and support (legislators, envoys, senior military officers, and others).
Insignia: An oval gold, silver or bronze medal, framed by two snakes, displaying a ying-yang symbol (obverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon. Recipients are also given a carved wooden walking stick which has the badge embodied in the head.
Presidential Sports Award (1994- )
Originally (1994-96) called the "RSA President's Sport Award". Awarded annually, for outstanding achievements by sportspersons, administrators, coaches, and referees/ umpires. Divided into two classes:
Gold - for sports achievements of the highest international order.
Silver - for sports achievements, or a high standard of coaching, or sports admini-stration, or a high standard of refereeing/ umpiring, or promoting and/or popularising sport.
Insignia: A circular medal, displaying the SA coat of arms (obverse) superimposed on a 32-pointed star. It is worn on a neck ribbon.