December 13, 2018


Moroka, Mahabane receive Gold Orders of Luthuli

President Jacob Zuma will bestow National Orders posthumously on two Free State struggle icons in Pretoria this Freedom Day.

Reverend Zaccheus Richard Mahabane and Dr. James Sebe Moroka will receive the Gold Orders of Luthuli.

The Order is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.

It symbolises the vision of the late Chief Albert Luthuli, the legendary liberation struggle leader and first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961, for African people to participate fully in the socio-economic and political development of South Africa.

Reverend Mahabane, who hailed from Thaba Nchu and died in Kroonstad, was a teacher, court interpreter, minister, and the first president-general of the ANC.

According to the Presidency, the award will be bestowed on him for his exceptional contribution to the national democratic struggle for freedom and his exceptional contribution to fostering the unity of the oppressed people, non-racialism, and fighting for a South Africa that belongs to all.

Dr. Moroka, who was born in Thaba Nchu and was the great-grandson of the Tswana chief, Moroka, was a physician and also a president-general of the ANC.

He will be awarded for his contribution to the struggle for freedom and his outstanding contribution in the struggle for a free democratic, non-racial, and non-sexist South Africa.

National Freedom Day celebrations will be led by President Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.

In the Free State, provincial commemorations will be held at the Bohlokong Stadium in Bethlehem.

This year’s theme “Working Together to Build Unity and Prosperity for All” is positioned to celebrate the end of apartheid and renew commitment to uphold human rights, human dignity, and equality for all, as well as remember and honour struggle icons and those who continue to be committed to transformation and building a better life for all. As the country gears up to commemorate its 18th year of democracy on April 27, The Weekly asked some Free Staters what the day means to them.

According to Leornard Mathobisa, a Mangaung Metropolitan councillor from Thaba Nchu, the day should be used to commemorate and honour those who died for freedom in this country and abroad.

Mojalefa Mokhuanathe, a journalist from Theunissen in Lejweleputswa, said: “Freedom Day implies liberation and freedom and as such should be celebrated”.

Mokhuanathe added that political lectures should be organised to raise awareness amongst the youth about the importance of the day.

Phindile Motha, a youth activist from Parys in Fezile Dabi, quoted the late Fezile Dabi when he said “There is nothing in all the world greater than freedom, it is worth praying for, it is worth losing your job for, it is worth going to jail for”.

According to Motha, the day is significant because “through perseverance and the leadership of the ANC we are free”.

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