The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) congratulates its newly-appointed board member and social activist, Yusuf Abramjee, on being the latest recipient of the esteemed national order, the Order of the Baobab, one of the highest accolades that a country can bestow on a citizen or prominent foreigner.
President Jacob Zuma will bestow the Order of the Baobab on Abramjee for “his excellent contribution in community development through Lead SA”, a Primedia Broadcasting and Independent Media initiative formed in 2010 to encourage every South African to make a contribution towards the development of the country.
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.
Retired Constitutional Court judge and chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council Board of Trustees, Zak Yacoob, said about Abramjee’s honour: “It is difficult to think of a more appropriate award. His contribution to our democracy has been one of the greatest and, more importantly, will continue and society will look forward to it. It is really good to be able to honour people when they are still alive than to speak at their funerals. I am sure that this will be of help in his work at SANAC”.
SANAC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Fareed Abdullah, echoed Yacoob’s sentiment.
“The South African National AIDS Council is proud to be associated with Yusuf Abramjee and his work. It’s good to see that there is recognition for his sterling contribution to South Africa. We are also pleased that Yusuf has also agreed to take a position on the SANAC board of trustees. We look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship with him”, Abdullah said.
Announcing that Abramjee will receive the order, the Chancellor of the Orders said 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”.
“It 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.”
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.