S.African president honours Brazil ex-president
South African President Jacob Zuma was to bestow his country's highest award on Brazilian ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and World Cup organisers Wednesday, his office said.
Zuma was due to present the National Orders at a ceremony in Pretoria to honour "citizens and members of the international community who have contributed meaningfully in making our country what it is today," said a statement from the president's office.
The orders were awarded on the day that South Africa commemorates its first all-race elections in 1994, which ended white minority rule.
Lula was awarded for his contribution to advancing the agenda of countries of the south "in the context of the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA)", said the statement.
Under Lula, trade between Brazil and South Africa increased to nearly $1,7 billion (1.2 billion euros) in 2009.
"Under his reign, the intergovernmental relations between Brazil and South Africa were further strengthened," the statement said.
Zuma also acknowledged football World Cup organisers Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza, who received the order of Ikhamanga in gold for their role in South Africa's hosting of the football tournament last year.
Artists, sportsmen, human rights activists, journalists and foreign nationals were also honoured.
© 2011 AFP