By Friday Nwosu
South African Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom has been awarded the Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany, the country’s highest honour.
The Order of Merit was conferred on Minister Hanekom by Ambassador Walter Lindner, on behalf of Federal President Joachim Gauck, at a ceremony in Pretoria.
The Order of Merit is the highest tribute that Germany pays to individuals for their political, economic, social and intellectual achievements, with it being bestowed on Minister Hanekom for his contribution to cooperation between Germany and South Africa during his tenure as Minister of Science and Technology.
“I am happy that your contribution to fruitful relations between South Africa and Germany is continuing on the same high level in your position as Minister of Tourism,” said Ambassador Lindner to Minister Hanekom.
Hanekom said he is extremely humbled and honoured to receive the award, “This is a tribute to all the people who are working hard to make a difference to our country. This is a big moment for all of us, and I am proud to share the honour with the people of South Africa, in recognition of the outstanding work that is being done in our country.”