National Order – The Order of Luthuli

It was a “struggle” for a number of years to obtain approval for the nomination of Ahmed Timol for the Order of Luthuli. The Order of Luthuli, Silver, was finally awarded to Ahmed Timol (Posthumous) by President Jacob Zuma on December 11, 2009 for his excellent contribution and selfless sacrifice during the struggle against apartheid. This Order is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.

When he gave evidence before the Erasmus Commission of Inquiry into Information Department irregularities, HJ van den Bergh of Bureau for the State Security (known as BOSS) admitted that he felt entitled to kill dangerous underground Communist who posed a threat to the South African govt but who could not be brought before a court of law.

The Head of the Security Police, Major Tiny Venter warned that “sensitivity training”, developed in Russia, was been used to undermine the South African political and social order by “a sort of terrorism of the brain”. Venter added that South Africa’s fight on her borders would be of no avail if “ideological terrorists” were allowed to brainwash the country’s youth from within. Recent student disturbances were an example of communist success in this strategy.

Timol was not the conventional terrorist who was planting limpet mines and involved in daring Operations with his AK-47 in skirmishes with the armed forces of the Apartheid State. He was the ideological terrorist who was influencing the minds of ordinary South Africans. He constantly reminded his students of the hardships of apartheid. This was of a greater threat to the State as Timol was mobilising students to rise against the tyranny and oppressive Apartheid regime.

The awarding of the Order of Luthuli to my Uncle acknowledges the ultimate sacrifice made by him for the freedom of oppressed South Africans.

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