Last month, the Presidency of South Africa awarded the Order of the Luthuli in Gold posthumously to Inkosi Mhlabunzima Joseph Maphumulo. The order “is awarded to South Africans who have served the interests of South Africa by making a meaningful contribution in any of the following areas: the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice, peace and conflict resolution.”
The award recognizes that the chief made “an exceptional contribution to conflict resolution and to resistance against injustice and oppression. He lost his life fighting for his people.” Mhlabunzima Maphumulo was the chief of the Maphumulo at Table Mountain, but the people for whom he fought extended beyond his rural chiefdom, earning him the moniker of ‘peace chief’.
I am so grateful to have been a part of nominating him and am so pleased to watch his family accept the award. You can learn more about his life in my book, now out in the U.S. and soon in Z.A.