She’s on the president’s list but not on the official list.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is a last-minute addition to the list of people due to receive national orders from President Jacob Zuma. The list was issued by the Presidency on Sunday.
But her inclusion on the list is legally dodgy, as the names of those nominated for national awards must be gazetted.
The gazetted list was issued on Friday, but Madikizela-Mandela’s name wasn’t on that list.
Her name was also not on the Presidency’s first list of recipients for the awards, which was issued on Wednesday last week.
“Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is still in hospital, and at the time of the gazette, the Presidency was not certain if she would be able to receive the national order in person or send a representative.
“But after discussions with her, it was ascertained that she would indeed be able to, even if a representative would be sent to collect the award on her behalf,” said Presidency spokesman Bongani Majola on Sunday.
He added that “of course” Madikizela-Mandela’s name would be gazetted, “now that discussions have taken place”.
An explanation of the orders issued by the Presidency in 2014 said the awards were based on merit following public nominations. “The president’s advisory council on national orders is convened to diligently consider and deliberate on the nominations and to arrive at a shortlist for recommendation to the president. The names of the nominees are published in the Government Gazette,” it said.
The awards will be bestowed by Zuma on Thursday.
Madikizela-Mandela is listed as a recipient of the Order of Luthuli. “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,” said the Presidency in July last year, when calling for nominations.
The Presidency’s list said she was to be honoured “for her excellent contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa”.
“She bravely withstood constant harassment by the apartheid police and challenged their brutality at every turn. She became a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle and of the bravery and determination of the oppressed to gain their freedom, against all odds.”
Madikizela-Mandela is a controversial figure who was in the news again when she failed in her attempt in the Mthatha High Court to seize control of her former husband Nelson Mandela’s Qunu home. They were divorced in 1996.
She suffered banishments and harassment during apartheid, but was criticised when, in 1991, she was convicted of the 1989 kidnapping and assault of a teenager accused of being a police informer. Her initial jail sentence for this was later downgraded to a fine.
There are 32 people on the Presidency’s list to receive national orders.