The order is considered South Africa’s highest honour and is awarded to those achieving excellence within their profession.
“By acknowledging and paying homage to our heros and heroines, the country elevates the spirit expressed in the preamble of our constitution,” the Mail & Guardian quoted Zuma as saying in Pretoria on Freedom Day (April 27).
Dr Fanaroff was honoured for his contribution to astronomy and his dedication to the SKA telescope project, the bulk of which he helped secure for Africa, and showing the world that South Africa is a world class research destination.
President Zuma presented the Mapungubwe order award to Dr Fanaroff at an event, which was held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House.
“Today we are honouring individuals who walked the extra mile to improve the lot of humanity and have contributed in elevating our country to great heights among other nations,” said President Zuma.
HumanIPO reported in October South Africa had been chosen for the unprecedented SKA telescope, which will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world.
Furthermore, Dr Fanaroff and the rest of the South African SKA team have been given several rewards since the announcement on May 25 last year that South Africa would be hosting the majority of the project.