Police decorations and medals
June 2009 / July 2014

Homeland and South West African police forces (1)

EACH of the ten self-governing or independent African homelands which existed within South Africa from the 1960s to 1994 had its own police force, and its own police medals. So did South West Africa, during the final years of South African administration, from 1981 to 1990.

The police forces were modeled on the SA Police, and their medals, not surprisingly, were modeled on the SAP awards of the period.

On this page : the Bophuthatswana Police, the Ciskei Police, and the Gazankulu Police.

Bophuthatswana Police

Bophuthatswana Police medal ribbons

The Bophuthatswana Police (BP) existed in the nominally 'independent' Bophuthatswana homeland from December 1977 to January 1995. It had its own decorations and medals from c1983 to 1995.

BP Cross for Bravery (RYGT) (c1983-95) — Awarded for conspicuous and exceptional bravery in the line of duty or in protecting or saving life or property.

Insignia: A distinctive gold cross displaying a gold star-cross on a red lozenge between four arrowheads (obverse) and the BP badge (reverse).

BP Medal for Outstanding Leadership (SOO) (c1983-95) — Awarded to officers, for particularly meritorious or exemplary service.

Insignia: A distinctive gold cross displaying a rampant leopard (obverse) and the BP badge (reverse).

BP Medal for Combating Terrorism (c1983-95) — For being involved in action against terrorists, or completing one year of counter-insurgency duty, or other services in combating terrorism.

Insignia: A silver Tswana shield displaying an array of ten spears (obverse) and a rampant leopard (reverse).

Bophuthatswana Independence Police Medal (c1983) — Issued to founder members of the force, including seconded members of the SA Police.

Insignia: A 9-pointed golden star displaying a map of Bophuthatswana on a red-edged green roundel (obverse) and the national coat of arms (reverse).

BP Star for Merit (c1983-95) — Awarded for (i) particularly meritorious or exemplary service, or (ii) 30 years service.

Insignia: A circular gold medal displaying a gold emblem on a green roundel (obverse) and the BP badge (reverse).

BP Star for Faithful Service (c1983-95) — For 20 years service.

Insignia: A 9-pointed silver star displaying a leopard's head (obverse) and the BP badge with 'Tirelo ya Boikanyego - Faithful Service' (reverse).

BP Medal for Faithful Service (c1983-95) — For 10 years service.

Insignia: A 9-pointed silver star displaying four leopards' heads on a green roundel (obverse) and the BP badge with 'Tirelo ya Boikanyego - Faithful Service' (reverse).

Ciskei Police

Ciskei Police medal ribbons

The Ciskei Police (CP) existed in the nominally 'independent' Ciskei homeland from November 1981 to January 1995. It had its own decorations and medals from 1981 to 1995. They corresponded to the principal SA Police awards of the period.

Order of Ntaba kaNdoda (NKN) (1981-1995) — Awarded to general officers, for "exceptional acts of national magnitude and meritorious foresight".

Insignia: A large gold medal depicting Ntaba kaNdoda mountain with the National Shrine in the foreground (obverse) and the Ciskei coat of arms (reverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon.

CP Star for Distinguished Leadership (SPDE) (1981-1995) — Awarded to general officers, for distinguished leadership or meritorious service contributing to Ciskeian state security.

Insignia: A gold Maltese cross with ivory rings between the arms, displaying the Ciskeian coat of arms within a blue circlet (obverse), and the CP badge and 'Ubunkokheli' and 'Leadership' (reverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon or on a gold ceremonial chain. There is also a gold 4-pointed breast star, displaying the Ciskeian arms within a green circlet on a light blue diagonal cross. Designed by Capt N.W.J. Kotze.

CP Star for Distinguished Service (SPME) (1981-1995) — Awarded to general officers, for distinguished service.

Insignia: An 8-pointed gold star (4 long and 4 short points) enclosed in a circular wreath, displaying the Ciskeian coat of arms within a blue circlet (obverse), and the Cp badge and 'Inkonzo Eqaqambileyo' and 'Distinguished Service' (reverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon. Designed by Capt N.W.J. Kotze.

CP Insignia for Bravery (1981-1995) — For conspicuous or exceptional bravery in the line of duty, or in protecting or saving life or property.

Insignia: A green-enamelled gold-plated silver globical cross on a circular wreath, displaying the Ciskeian coat of arms (obverse), with the CP badge and 'Eyobukroti' and 'For Bravery' (reverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon.

Sandile Decoration (SD) (1981-1995) — Awarded to senior officers, for meritorious service which contributed to Ciskeian state security.

Insignia: A circular gold-plated medal depicting a bust of King Sandile (obverse), and the Ciskeian coat of arms (reverse).

CP Medal for the Maintenance of Law and Order (1981-1995) — Also called 'Ciskei Department of State Security Medal'. Awarded for service (minimum 60 days) in preventing or combating subversion, terrorism, unrest or other internal disorder.

Insignia: A green-enamelled silver cross pattee, displaying a gold Xhosa shield on crossed assegais on a red roundel (obverse) and the Ciskei coat of arms (reverse).

Ciskei Independence Medal (1981) — To commemorate the independence of the Ciskei and the establishment of the CP in 1981.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal displaying a blue crane bird on a crossed spear and club (obverse), and the Ciskeian coat of arms (reverse).

CP Insignia for Merit (1981-1995) — For (i) particularly meritorious or exemplary service, or (ii) 30 years service.

Insignia: A circular silver medal displaying the Ciskeian coat of arms (obverse) and the CP badge (reverse).

CP Insignia for Steadfast Service (1981-1995) — For 20 years service. A clasp was authorised to be added after 40 years service.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal with an engrailed egde, depicting a blue crane bird (obverse), and the CP badge with 'Inkonzo Enyanisekileyo' and 'Faithful Service' (reverse).

CP Medal for Faithful Service (1981-1995) — For 10 years service.

Insignia: A hexagonal bronze medal, depicting an ox's head (obverse), and the CP badge (reverse).

Gazankulu Police

Gazankulu Police medal ribbons

The Gazankulu Police (GZP) existed in the Gazankulu self-governing homeland from 1982 to January 1995. It had its own decorations and medals from c1983 to 1995. They were designed by WO Theresa Diedericks.

GZP Star for Distinguished Leadership (c1983-1995)

Insignia: A 10-pointed gold star displaying a red lion on a blue roundel surrounded by a red border decorated with the Gazankulu crossed spoons symbol (obverse) and the GZP badge with the words 'Vurhangeri byo Hlawuleka - Uitnemende Leierskap - Distinguished Leadership'. Worn on a neck ribbon.

GZP Cross for Bravery (c1983-1995)

Insignia: A silver-plated cross displaying an oval blue, gold and black shield depicting a rampant bull (obverse) and the GZP badge with the words 'Xihambano xa Vunhenha - Kruis vir Dapperheid - Cross for Bravery' (reverse).

GZP Star for Distinguished Service (c1983-1995)

Insignia: A 10-pointed gold star with black shapes between the points, and an African shield displaying a red flame in the centre (obverse), with the GZP badge and 'Ntirho wo Hlawuleka - Voortreflike Diens - Distinguished Service'. Worn on a neck ribbon.

Medal for the Establishment of the GZP — Issued to the founder members of the force in 1982.

Insignia: A circular gold-coloured medal with eight projections, displaying a red heraldic lion on a gold roundel surrounded by eight red flames, all on a black background (obverse) and the GZP badge with 'Nsimeko - Stigting - Establishment' (reverse).

GZP Star for Merit (c1983-1995) — For 30 years service.

Insignia: A circular gilded medal displaying the Gazankulu coat of arms on a black cogwheel on a gold roundel surrounded by a red scalloped border enclosing ten semicircles containing the Gazankulu crossed spoons emblem (obverse), and the GZP badge with 'Nyeleti ya Vuswikoti - Ster vir Verdienste - Star for Merit' (reverse).

GZP Star for Faithful Service (c1983-1995) — For 20 years service.

Insignia: A circular silver medal displaying crossed scrolls and flames on a black cogwheel on a white roundel surrounded by a blue scalloped border enclosing ten semicircles containing the Gazankulu crossed spoons emblem (obverse) and the GZP badge with 'Ntirho wo Tshembeka - Troue Diens - Faithful Service' (reverse).

GZP Medal for Faithful Service (c1983-1995) — For 10 years service.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal displaying the shield of the Gazankulu coat of arms on a yellow cogwheel on a black roundel surrounded by a blue scalloped border enclosing ten blue semicircles containing the Gazankulu crossed spoons emblem (obverse) and the GZP badge with 'Ntirho wo Tshembeka - Troue Diens - Faithful Service' (reverse).

References :
  • Bophuthatswana Government Gazette Vol 12 No 31 (25.02.1983) and Vol 17 No 104 (08.07.1988).
  • Ciskei Government Gazette Vol 9 No 85 (06.11.1981) and Vol 14 No 86 (29.08.1986).
  • King, T.; Gallantry Awards of the South African Police 1913-1994 (2000).
 
© Arthur Radburn
 
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