The 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.
The order can be awarded in three categories:
Category 1 = Gold
Category 2 = Silver
Category 3 = Bronze
Central Motif / Symbolism
The triangular flint stone represents a basic tool of survival used by prehistoric ancestors to produce essential goods, construct shelters and skin animals to make clothing, among others.
It symbolizes the vision of the late Chief Albert Luthuli - the legendary liberation struggle leader and first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961 - for African people to participate fully in the socio-economic and political development of South Africa.
- Isandlwana Hill: depicts peace and tranquility after the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879.
- The South African Flag: represents the dawn of freedom and democracy.
- Technology: emphasizes the development of high-tech products.
African Clay Pot
- Two horns: espouses his vision for a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.
- The leopard pattern: represents Chief Luthuli's trademark headgear.
- Beads: decoration symbolizes the beauty of Africa and the African Bull represents the empowerment and prosperity of African people.