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Wits academics bestowed with National Orders

- Wits University

Professors Yosuf (Joe) Veriava and Thokozani Majozi are amongst the recipients of the 2019 National Orders.

President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday, 25 April 2019, bestowed National Orders on distinguished individuals who have made momentous contributions to the South Africa.  

In his address, Ramaphosa said the “recipients of the National Orders represent the values, the ideals and the aspirations of the millions of South Africans who stood in line to vote for freedom on the 27th of April 1994.The National Orders are the highest honour that this country can bestow on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals”.

Veriava, an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Wits University, was bestowed with the Order of Luthuli in Silver for his contribution to the medical profession in South Africa. The Order of Luthuli acknowledges the contribution of South Africans to the struggle for democracy, to nation-building, to human rights, to justice and peace, and to conflict resolution. Known within the academic community for leading the Steve Biko court case against the South African Medical and Dental Council in 1985, Veriava has served the University and country for more than 30 years in pursuit of dignity and justice. He has been hailed for his fight for equity and transformation in the medical sector. In 2009 the University awarded him an honorary doctorate for his unwavering commitment and dedication to the human, moral, ethical and transformational aspirations of Wits and the communities it serves.

Majozi, a Full Professor in the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at Wits and DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Sustainable Process Engineering, received the Order of Mapungubwe in Bronze for his outstanding contribution to science. The Order of Mapungubwe recognises those who have accomplished excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond. A member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa and board chairperson of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Majozi’s main research interest are batch chemical process integration, sustainable process systems engineering and mathematical modelling.

He has received numerous awards for his research including the Burianec Memorial Award (Italy), the University of Pretoria Leading Minds Centenary Award, a S2A3 British Association Medal (Silver), the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers Bill Neal-May Gold Medal and the NSTF-BHP Billiton Category B Award. In 2016, he won the Research of Engineering Capacity Development award at the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)-South32 Awards.

Four Wits alumni were also amongst this year’s recipients, including veteran journalist, Mathatha Tsedu; Benjamin Pogrund; Anthony Trew; and Dr Ari Sitas.