Prisons service decorations and medals
June 2009

Homeland and South West African prisons services (2)

FIVE of the ten self-governing or independent African homelands which existed within South Africa from the 1960s to 1994 had their own prisons services, and their own prisons service medals. So did South West Africa, during the final years of South African administration in the 1980s.

On this page : the South West Africa Prisons Service, the Transkei Prisons Service, and the Venda Prisons Service.

SWA Prisons Service

SWA Prisons Service medal ribbons

The South West African Prisons Service (SWAPS) was established some time after the territory became self-governing in 1977, and was disbanded in 1989/90. It had the following medals, and possibly others too.

SWAPS Medal for Faithful Service: Gold — For 30 years service.

Insignia: A circular medal displaying the SWAPS badge (obverse) and the words "Troue Diens - Faithful Service" (reverse).

SWAPS Medal for Faithful Service: Silver — For 20 years service.

Insignia: Same design as the gold medal, but in silver.

SWAPS Medal for Faithful Service: Bronze — For 10 years service.

Insignia: Same design as the gold medal, but in bronze.

SWAPS Inception Medal — Issued to mark the inception of the SWAPS. Presumably granted to the founder members.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal displaying the scales of justice balanced on an upright sword superimposed on a cross (obverse) and the SWAPS badge with the words 'Inception' and 'Instelling' (reverse).

Transkei Prisons Service

The Transkei Prisons Service (TPS) existed while the Transkei homeland was nominally 'independent' (1976-94). Its decorations and medals were instituted in the 1980s.

TPS Star for Excellence

TPS Gallantry Cross

TPS Star for Distinction

TPS Medal for Faithful Service (1988-94) — For 35 years service.

TPS Medal for Faithful Service: Silver (1982-87) — For 30 years service.

TPS Medal for Faithful Service (30 Years) (1988-94) — For 30 years service.

TPS Medal for Faithful Service (20 Years) (1988-94) — For 20 years service.

TPS Medal for Faithful Service: Bronze (1982-87) — For 18 years service.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal displaying the Transkei coat of arms (obverse) and the head of the Transkei parliamentary mace with appropriate wording (reverse).

TPS Medal for Faithful Service (10 Years) (1988-94) — For 10 years service.

Venda Prisons Service

The Venda Prisons Service (VPS) existed in the nomionally 'independent' Venda homeland from April 1985 to 1994. It had its own decorations and medals from 1985.

VPS Gallantry Cross (CPV)

VPS Distinguished Service Medal: Gold (SPO)

VPS Distinguished Service Medal: Silver (SPM)

VPS Establishment Medal — Issued to commemorate the establishment of the VPS.

Insignia: A circular silver medal displaying the VPS emblem (obverse) and the Venda coat of arms and the words "Mendele wa Tshiimiswa" (reverse).

VPS Long Service Medal: Gold — For 30 years faithful service.

Insignia: A circular golden medal displaying the Venda coat of arms (reverse) and the words "Mendele wa Tshumelo ya Tshifhinga Tshilapfu Miinwaha ya Furaru" (reverse).

VPS Long Service Medal: Silver — For 20 years faithful service.

Insignia: A circular silver medal displaying the Venda coat of arms (obverse) and the words "Mendele wa Tshumelo ya Tshifhinga Tshilapfu Miinwaha ya Fumbili" (reverse).

VPS Long Service Medal: Bronze — For 10 years faithful service.

Reference :
  • Cook, John : personal communication about SWAPS faithful service medal ribbons.
 
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