- Professor Thuli Madonsela of South Africa was recently honoured with France's highest title, Knight of the Legion of Honour
- France bestowed the honourable title on Madonsela for her contribution to social justice and defence of human rights
- Many South Africans who heard the news were super proud and congratulated her warmly online
Professor Thuli Madonsela, South Africa's former Public Protector, was recently honoured with France's highest honorary title, The Knight of the Legion of Honour. In a heartwarming post made by @FrenchEmbassyZA, they announced that Madonsela was awarded the title because of her contribution to social justice and the defence of human rights.
"Tonight, Ambassador @lechevallierAS bestowed the Legion d'honneur award upon Professor @ThuliMadonsela3 in recognition of her contribution to social justice and the defence of human rights," the post read.
To which Madonsela responded:
"A supreme honour and privilege. #knighthood"
Many South Africans were proud to see that one of their own was being recognised for her work and wasted no time in congratulating Madonsela on her knighthood. Read a few of their heartwarming and thoughtful comments below:
"Congratulations Prof. Well done!"
"Absolutely well done. What a great privilege."
"Congratulations Prof Dame @ThuliMadonsela3@smit_law@StellenboschUni#DVCProud #SocialJustice #anticorruption."
"Congratulations Dame Madonsela. South Africa salutes you!"
"She's so awesome isn't she, @ThuliMadonsela3 well done Prof Madonsela."
In earlier Briefly News reports, the French government has bestowed a ceremonial knighthood, the Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole (Knight in the Order of Agricultural Merit), upon wine microbiologist Prof Benoit Divol. He is an associate professor in the Department of Viticulture and Oenology and the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute at Stellenbosch University.
The Order was first created in 1883. Divol is the only person with South African links to have received the Order in 2020. He is acknowledged for his scientific contributions as well as his endeavours to enhance research cooperation between France and South Africa, particularly in the fields of viticulture and oenology.
Divol is a Parisian by birth. He received his PhD in oenology from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse in 2004 and a DSc from the University of Bordeaux in 2010. He has been working at Stellenbosch University since 2005, after joining the then Institute for Wine Biotechnology as a postdoctoral researcher. Since then, he has among others led the Department of Viticulture and Oenology as chair and was promoted to associate professor in 2017.
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