Ambassador Farnaud honours Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba with France’s highest civil award
On Tuesday 28 November 2017, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr Christophe Farnaud, hosted a reception in honour of Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba, acting chairperson of the South African National Aids Trust, who received the insignia of Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (Officer in the Legion of Honour).
Dr. Ntsaluba is a medical doctor and well-known political activist during the fight against apartheid. After working as a medical doctor in Umtata, Eastern Cape, between 1982 and 1985, Dr. Ntsaluba went into exile in 1986. He studied international relations in Moscow before working at health centres for South Africans in exile in Zambia, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda until 1991. In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Director-General for Policy and Planning in the National Department of Health before serving as Director-General of the same department until 2003. He then joined the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) as Director-General. After a stint in the private sector, he joined the South African National Aids Trust as acting chairperson in 2017.
In his speech, Dr. Ayanda Ntsaluba thanked H.E. Christophe Farnaud and the French government: " I know for certain that South Africa has over the years stood ready fundamentally to embrace the partnership with France."
"I consider as a great honor and privilege to have had the opportunity to serve my country and contribute to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between our two countries."
About the French Legion of Honour:
The French Legion of Honour celebrates the accomplishments of distinguished individuals, irrespective of sex, social background and nationality. The national order of the Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. It is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). It was first awarded on July 14 1804.
South Africans who have received the Legion of Honour include Ahmed Kathrada, Desmond Tutu, Kader Asmal, Nadine Gordimer, André P Brink and Jay Naidoo.