Isithwalandwe / Seaparankoe

The Highest Award of Honour

Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe is the highest honour awarded by the ANC to those who have made an outstanding contribution and sacrifice to the liberation struggle. Isithwalandwe, literally translated, means “the one who wears the plumes of the rare bird” and was traditionally bestowed only on the bravest warriors of the people, on those who distinguished themselves in the eyes of all the people for exceptional qualities of leadership and heroism.

Chief Albert Luthuli, Dr Yusuf Dadoo and Father Trevor Huddleston were the first leaders to received Isithwalandwe / Seaparankoe, at the Congress of the People in 1955. The most recent recipients, in 2014, were Ruth Mompati and Gertrude Shope.


Albert Luthuli1955
Father Trevor Huddleston1955
Yusuf Dadoo1955
Moses Mauane Kotane1975
Govan Mbeki1980
Bishop Ambrose Reeves1980
Lilian Ngoyi1982
Oliver Reginald Tambo1992
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela1992
Walter Sisulu1992
Helen Joseph1992
Ahmed Kathrada1992
Harry Gwala1992
Elias Motsoaledi1992
Andrew Mlangeni1992
Raymond Mhlaba1992
Wilton Mkwai1992
Joe Slovo1994
Ray Alexander Simons2004
Chris Hani2008
Ruth Mompati2014
Gertrude Shope2014