Department of Basic Education congratulates Yusuf Abramjee

The Department of Basic Education congratulates, Mr Yusuf Abramjee, Chairperson of Lead-SA, on receiving the National Order of Baobab in Silver. The award is the highest accolade that a country can bestow upon a citizen or a prominent non-South African citizen.

“We are proud to be associated with Mr Abramjee through his Lead SA initiative, which has partnered with the Department of Basic Education in several campaigns, including Stop Rape, the Bill of Responsibility and Mandela Day campaigns,” said Minister Angie Motshekga.

Minister Motshekga says this prestigious award is indeed well-deserved. Mr Abramjee’s continued and unwavering commitment to nation-building is admirable, and his numerous initiatives through Lead SA have touched the lives of many South Africans, including our school children.


Issued by the Ministry of Basic Education

Lead SA and Crime Line lauds National Order recipient, Yusuf Abramjee

Lead SA and Crime Line have welcomed the announcement by the Chancellor of Orders that President Jacob Zuma will bestow the Order of the Baobab on activist, Yusuf Abramjee, for his “excellent contribution in community development through Lead SA”.

The award is a National Order – the highest accolade that a country can bestow on a citizen or prominent foreigners.

The Order of the Baobab serves to represent “exceptional contribution, and is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service that goes beyond the call of duty”.

The order takes its name from the baobab tree, which was chosen as a symbol because of its “endurance and tolerance, its vitality, its importance in agro-forestry systems, and its use as a meeting place in traditional African societies.”

Abramjee said he was “honoured and humbled” to be receiving the Order of Baobab, Silver.

“To be a recipient of a National Order is an overwhelming privilege and I wish to thank those who nominated me, and President Jacob Zuma and the government for bestowing this honour.

“It’s truly a blessing to be in a position to serve my country and its people. I am exceptionally proud of what we have achieved through Lead SA and Crime Line, especially the extraordinary citizens from all walks of life that it has revealed to us. This Order is a tribute to you all,” said Abramjee.

“Serving the community should become the rule, rather than the exception,” he said.

The previous recipients of the Order of the Baobab include, the late former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Arthur Chaskalson; prominent academic, Barney Pityana and renowned Venda artist, Noria Mabasa.

Lead SA founder and Primedia Broadcasting CEO, Terry Volkwyn said that she was proud of Abramjee’s accomplishment, describing him as a “true servant of the public”.

“Lead SA congratulates Yusuf on this well deserved award. His passion, drive, patriotism and commitment are integral to what we hope to achieve through Lead SA and he has been part of this vision since we launched in August 2010.

“Yusuf’s activism has always been part of his public and private life. He continues to be a pillar in his own community, while striving to find ways to encourage and motivate others through his example of active citizenship. We are truly happy that his contribution is being recognised by the highest power in the land,” Volkwyn added.

Primedia CEO, Kuben Pillay, said that the Group was “privileged and thrilled” to have Abramjee honoured by his country with the Order of the Baobab, Silver.

“Yusuf is clearly what our elder leader, Nelson Mandela, had in mind when he said, ‘to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the lives of others.’ Congratulations to Yusuf, the teams that support him, and the hundreds of ordinary South Africans who have heeded our call to action, in support of our democracy,” said Pillay.

Abramjee was closely involved in the conceptualisation and launch of Lead SA in 2010 – a Primedia Broadcasting and Independent Group of Newspapers initiative. The initiative is a call to action on South Africans to become active citizens and “Stand Up, Do the Right Thing and Make a Difference.”

Abramjee is also the founder of the anonymous crime tip-off service, Crime Line, which was launched in partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 2007. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his contribution to the fight against crime. He was re-elected to serve as chairman of the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT) last month and serves as second vice-president of Crime Stoppers International (CSI).

Abramjee is a born newshound, starting his career as a freelance reporter at Talk Radio 702 ahead of the first democratic elections in 1994. He fulfilled many roles at Talk Radio 702 over the years, including station manager. He is head of news and current affairs at Primedia Broadcasting.

Abramjee served as Chairperson of the National Press Club for several years.

He is also a member of the South African National Aids Council Trust (SANAC) and is a social cohesion ambassador.

Abramjee has over the years combined his journalistic skills and activism to expose a number of wrongdoings and taking action to hold those responsible accountable.

“Yusuf is a doer. You know that when he throws his weight behind a cause that you will see results. As Crime Line we are exceptionally proud of this accomplishment and appreciate the recognition from the top for his contribution,” said Crime Line.

Crime Line added that “we have a great leader in Yusuf. He has taken Crime Line to great heights over the years. It’s a privilege to have a leader that works shoulder to shoulder with his team. Congratulations Yusuf!”

Abramjee has received numerous awards for his contribution to community service, including the Security Association of South Africa’s “Security Personality of the Year”, “Leadership and Communicator of the Year” from Pretoria Toastmasters, a Turquoise Harmony Institute “Community Service” award and FM Adfocus “Newsmaker of the Year”.

Volkwyn said that Lead SA was about nurturing a culture of active citizenship in the country. She praised The Presidency for the National Orders initiative that serves to recognise individuals who strive to make a difference in South Africa.

“Lead SA believes the Order of the Baobab was bestowed on a worthy recipient. We also congratulate all the other recipients of national orders. As we celebrate Freedom Month, we believe these recognitions from the highest office of the land pay tribute to the extraordinary individuals who serve with dedication and zeal,” Volkwyn added.


 For more information on the National Orders, visit

Media Statement by the Chancellor of the National Orders, Dr Cassius Lubisi

Programme Director

Chairperson of the National Orders Advisory Council

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media

Good afternoon

It is my privilege as Chancellor of the National Orders to announce the names of those South Africans and foreign nationals who will be awarded National Orders at an investiture ceremony to be held on Freedom Day, Saturday 27 April 2013.

This year’s ceremony will be held under the theme “Mobilising society towards consolidating our democracy and freedom”.

National Orders are the highest awards that a country, through its President, bestows to its citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and who made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.

The National Orders also recognise the contributions made by individuals who contributed and continue to contribute to a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa as envisaged in our Constitution.

This is the 19th Investiture ceremony since the inception of the National Orders, contributing towards unity, reconciliation and building the nation.

President Jacob Zuma will bestow to deserving recipients the Order of Mendi for Bravery, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli, the Order of Mapungubwe, and the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo.

The Order of Mendi for Bravery recognises South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery.

The order will be bestowed in Silver on:

Alfred Duma: For his leadership in times of difficulty, and his brave contribution to the rights of workers and liberation of the people of South Africa.


Riot Makhomanisi Mkhwanazi: For his excellent and valiant contribution to the liberation of the people of South Africa.


The order in Gold will be bestowed on:

Cletus Mzimela: For his precision under pressure, and gallantry in the face of crippling odds in pursuit in the liberation of the people of South Africa.


The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The Order will be bestowed in Silver on:

Chad Le Clos: For his excellent achievements on the international swimming stage, especially at the London Olympics in 2012, thus placing South Africa in high standing globally in the field of Aquatic sports.


Ilse Hayes: For her courageous and relentless pursuit of excellence and incredible physical endurance.


Vusi Mahlasela: For using his talent beyond its entertainment value to draw attention to the injustices that isolated South Africa from the global community during the apartheid years.


Zolani Mkiva: For achieving international recognition in praise poetry and being an outstanding champion of African oral traditions who has done not only South Africa proud, but the continent as a whole.


Kaizer Motaung: For his achievements as a committed and dedicated footballer and his outstanding contribution to the development of young football talent in the country.


Pretty Yende: For her excellent achievement and international acclaim in the field of world opera and serving as a role model to aspiring young musicians.


The Order of the Baobab recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation.

The Order in Bronze will be bestowed on:


Suraya “Bibi” Khan: For her selflessness and outstanding contribution to the upliftment of disadvantaged communities in South Africa and abroad and her tireless voluntary work in the community where she lives.


Nontsikelelo Qwelane: For her outstanding contribution to education in South Africa and for being an inspiration and role model to both young and old. At the age of 92 Qwelane has earned the title of the oldest known teacher in South Africa.


The Order in Silver will be bestowed on:

Yusuf Abramjee: For his excellent contribution to the field of community development through LeadSA


David Jacobus Bosch (Posthumous): For his selfless struggle for equality in segregated churches and society in general and his dedication to community upliftment. By doing so, he lived the values of non-racialism against the mainstream of his own culture.


Colin Wells Eglin: For serving the country with excellence and for his dedication and courage in standing up for the principles of equality for all South Africans against the unjust laws of the past.


Herbert William Garnet De La Hunt: For his tireless and excellent work in the service of promoting the South African Scouts movement locally and abroad and demonstrating the spirit of volunteerism.


Sayed Mohamed Ridwan Mia: For his excellent contribution to the field of medicine and giving hope to victims devastated by burn injuries.


The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.

The order will be bestowed in Bronze to:

Nomazizi Mtshotshisa (Posthumous): For being the embodiment of courageous leadership by women in South Africa, and for her outstanding contribution to the struggle for democracy.


The order will be bestowed in Silver to:

Neville Edward Alexander (Posthumous): For his courageous rejection of injustice and his excellent contribution to the struggle against apartheid in striving to ensure equality for all South Africans.


Amina Desai (Posthumous): For her selfless sacrifice, courage and excellent contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. Desai did not believe in the limitations imposed by apartheid and fought valiantly against oppression.


Michael Alan Harmel (Posthumous): For his relentless fight against injustice as part of the national liberation movement and his contribution to equality for all South Africans.


Essop Essak Jassat: For his excellent contribution to the struggle for liberation and advancing democracy in South African, through selfless sacrifice without regard for his own safety and well-being.


Arthur Letele (Posthumous): For his dedication and excellent work in pursuing the liberation of the people of South Africa and Lesotho above everything, including his own safety.


Mosibudi Mangena: For his excellent contribution to the struggle against apartheid and positive contribution to democracy in South Africa through his role in improving education, especially in the critical areas of mathematics and science.


Moosa (Mosie) Moolla: For his dauntless and excellent work in the liberation movement often at great risk to his life and for representing the interests of the liberation movement and South Africa in the international community.


Richard Mothupi: For the excellent role he played in pursuing freedom for all South Africans during the liberation struggle and the building of democracy in South Africa.


David Fani Mncube: For his excellent contribution to the struggle for non-racist, non-sexist, just and democratic South Africa.


Elias Phakane Moretsele (Posthumous): For his excellent contribution and dedication to the struggle for freedom in both urban and rural areas and sacrificing his life for a free South Africa.


The award will be bestowed in Gold on:

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma: For her exceptional life’s work to the cause of freedom for the people of South Africa and the development and consolidation of our democracy in the quest to create a better life for all.


The Order of Mapungubwe recognises South Africans who have accomplished excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond.

The Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze will be bestowed on:

Prof. Quarraisha Abdool Karim: For her outstanding work in the field of HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) research; and her role in health policy development that is placing South Africa on the international stage.


The award in Silver will be bestowed on:

Dr Bernie Fanaroff: For his excellent contribution to astronomy and dedication in putting South Africa on the map with the SKA Project. He is a thinker, an academic, a trade unionist and an exceptional public servant.


Professor George Ekama: For his excellent research that has provided innovative solutions to enhancing and improving wastewater treatment. His important work is helping the country to find solutions to water scarcity.


Dr Glenda Gray: For her excellent life-saving research in mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS that has changed the lives of people in South Africa and abroad. Her work has not only saved lives of many children, but also improved the quality of life for many others with HIV and AIDS.


Prof Malegapuru William Makgoba: For his dedication and excellent contribution to the field of science and medicine, locally and internationally; and for his contribution to the building of democracy in South Africa. He is an outstanding academic and a pioneer of transformation in higher education.


The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals and other foreign dignitaries for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.

The order in Silver will be bestowed on:

Dina Forti: For developing a strong anti-apartheid movement in Italy and assisting liberation organisations in Southern Africa, including the ANC, Frelimo and the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).


Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson: For dedicating his life to challenge societies and governments to recognise that all people are born equal, and that everyone is in equal measure entitled to life, liberty, prosperity and human rights. For his excellent contribution to the fight against apartheid


Enuga Screenivasulu Reddy: For his active support of the South African freedom movement for more than half a century. As head of the United Nations (UN) Centre Against Apartheid for over two decades, he played a key role in promoting international sanctions against South Africa and organising the world campaign to free Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners.


Giuseppe Soncini (Posthumous): For his contribution to the liberation movement by forging a Pact of Solidarity between the town of Reggio Emilia in Italy and the ANC. His town served as a haven to many anti-apartheid activists during the difficult times of oppression.


The award will be bestowed in Gold on:

Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham (Posthumous): For his dedication to the liberation of his country, Guyana, as well as the African continent. He established diplomatic relations with many African countries and expressed solidarity with the liberation movement and freedom fighters in South Africa. This solidarity with the leaders of the ANC strengthened relations between Guyana and South Africa.


We congratulate the recipients and call on all South Africans to join us in celebrating these outstanding South Africans and distinguished friends of South Africa.

Issued by: The Presidency