South African President Thabo Mbeki paid tribute to Indian actor Anil Kapoor on Friday (03FEB06), hailing the Bollywood star as a "global brand ambassador" for the African nation.

The PUKAR actor, 46, received the honour in a ceremony in Johannesburg during Mbeki's annual state of the nation address to parliament.

Mbeki, 63, said, "I am honoured to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of an outstanding human being and friend of our country and people, the leading Indian Bollywood actor, Anil Kapoor.

"All of us are deeply moved that Anil Kapoor, a citizen of the beloved land of Mahatma Gandhi, has agreed to serve as one of South Africa's global brand ambassadors, committed to mobilise the peoples of the world to support our efforts to make a success of our liberation."