John Minto is to be congratulated for his continued fight against the ongoing injustice occurring in South Africa. He is now refusing to accept the South African Government's highest honour for foreigners because he is ‘deeply dismayed’ with that government and the social and economic conditions of South Africa. In his Open Letter to the President of South Africa the Unite union organizer and social justice activist says it would be hypocritical to accept the Companion of O R Tambo Award from a government he's so highly critical of. Minto correctly points out (in a phrase reminiscent of Animal Farm) that, ‘The faces at the top have changed from white to black but the substance of change is an illusion’. Furthermore, he argues out that when in 1981 'we protested and marched into police batons and barbed wire here in the struggle against apartheid, we were not fighting for a small black elite to become millionaires’. And in two short sentences, Minto sums up the reality of recent history in South Africa: 'It seems the entire economic structure which underpinned apartheid is essentially unchanged. Oppression based on race has morphed seamlessly into oppression based on economic circumstance'. In a world of vacuous 'celebrity' and when all kinds of people, including on the left, seem to fall over themselves to grab awards, Minto's refusal is a breath of fresh air.