Two late residents of Oudtshoorn, David Mbulelo “Spi” Grootboom and Reginald “Reggie” Oliphant, were awarded the Order of Luthuli at the Presidential National Orders yesterday (28 April) .
National orders are the highest awards that a country, through its president, bestows on its citizens and foreign nationals.
“These awards are great sentiments not only to the recipients and their families, but also signify the role Oudtshoornites have played in the South African political history,” the mayor of Oudtshoorn, Colan Sylvester, said.
The two political stalwarts were posthumously conferred the Order of Luthuli in silver. The Order of Luthuli 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.
The late Reggie Oliphant was murdered in May 2003 in Cape Town, while Grootboom passed away in August 2014.
An Oudtshoorn-born communication strategist and former journalist for local community newspaper Saamstaan, SABC TV and e.tv, Makhaya Mani, said, “This is a proud moment for me to witness this event. I have seen and can bear testimony to the sterling work they put, the sacrifices they made, choosing to abandon their families for the cause of the people of Oudtshoorn and the Klein Karoo.”