06:28 AEST Thu Mar 26 2009
South Africa will bestow the nation's highest honour for foreign nationals to former Cuban president Fidel Castro, the presidency announced on Wednesday.
Castro will be granted the Order of Companions of O.R. Tambo in Gold, which the government says is awarded for friendship shown to South Africa.
"It is therefore an order of peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support," the award's website says.
Castro, 82, has been recovering from gastrointestinal surgery in July 2006 and has not been seen in public since. He turned the reins of government over to his brother, Raul.
Last year South Africa awarded Castro its highest humanitarian honour, the Ubuntu award, for his contributions to "humankind beyond boundaries."
Castro was a key supporter of the anti-apartheid struggle.
The O. R. Tambo prize is named after Oliver Tambo, who was leader of the African National Congress in exile during apartheid. He died in April 1993.