Nkwe ya Selefera

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Nkwe ya Selefera
Silver Leopard
Nkwe ya Selefera medal.jpg
Awarded by the President
Country  South Africa
Type Military decoration for bravery
Eligibility All ranks
Awarded for Acts of conspicuous bravery during military operations
Status Current
Post-nominals NS
Statistics
Established 27 April 2003
First awarded 2002
Total awarded 2
Precedence
Next (higher) African National Congress Flag.svg Star for Bravery in Silver [1]
Next (lower) Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg Pro Virtute Decoration [1]
NSlint.gif
Ribbon bar

The Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard, post-nominal letters NS, was instituted by the President of the Republic of South Africa on 16 April 2003 and came into effect on 27 April 2003. It can be awarded to all ranks who have distinguished themselves by performing acts of conspicuous bravery during military operations. It is South Africa's second highest military decoration for bravery.[2][3]

The South African military[edit]

The Union Defence Forces (UDF) were established in 1912 and renamed the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1958. On 27 April 1994 it was integrated with six other independent forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[3][4]

The Fount of Honour for all South African military decorations and medals is the President of South Africa.[5]

Award criteria[edit]

The Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard, post-nominal letters NS, was instituted by the President on 16 April 2003 and came into effect on 27 April 2003 to replace the Honoris Crux (1975) (HC). The bilingual title of the decoration is in Setswana and English. It can be awarded to all ranks of the South African National Defence Force and of any Auxiliary Service of the SANDF, and of any Armed Forces attached to or serving with or rendering any service to the SANDF who have distinguished themselves by performing acts of conspicuous bravery on a single occasion or over a period of time during military operations.[2][6]

Bar to the Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard

A bar may be awarded for every subsequent action that would make recipients eligible for the award of the same decoration. The decoration and bar may be awarded posthumously.[2]

Guidelines consisting of appropriate phrases that may be useful when writing a citation for the award of the Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard have been published by the South African Defence Department.[6]

  • Deliberate but daring and conspicuous actions on a single occasion or over a period of time.
  • A dangerous, serious and/or critical situation.
  • A possibility of loss of own life and/or endangered own life for others.
  • Actions contributory to success.
  • Perseverance under trying circumstances.

Order of precedence[edit]

The position of the Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard in the official military and national orders of precedence is as follows:[1] Star for Bravery in Silver (SBS) Nkwe ya Selefera (NS) Pro Virtute Decoration (PVD)

Official military order of precedence
Official national order of precedence

Description[edit]

Obverse

The Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard is a five-armed cross paty struck in silver, with a diameter of 38 millimetres. The arms of the cross are bordered and the extremities embowed, with each pair of arms of the cross separated by three short rays. In the centre of the obverse is a light blue enamel roundel, 19 millimetres in diameter, with a silver leopard's head.[2][3]

Bar button and insignia for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Military Health Service
Reverse

The reverse bears, in relief, the Coat of arms of South Africa. The decoration is attached to a plain silver suspender fixed to the upper arm of the decoration. The medal number is stamped or engraved below the Coat of Arms.[2]

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and sky blue with 6 millimetres wide white edges.[2] The blue represents the feathers of the blue crane which Xhosa kings used to present to brave warriors.

Bar

The bar for subsequent conferments of the Nkwe ya Selefera - Silver Leopard is 33 millimetres in length and 5 millimetres wide, struck in silver and embossed in the centre with a replica of the decoration. When only a ribbon bar is worn, a button replica of the decoration, 8 millimetres in diameter and struck in silver, is affixed to the ribbon bar.

Insignia

Award of the decoration for service in active military operations is indicated by distinguishing insignia that indicate the arm of the service in which the recipient was serving at the time of the action for which the decoration was conferred. The insignia are struck in silver and is worn on the ribbon above any bars that may have been awarded.

Recipients[edit]

In respect of those recipients about whom it is available, the actions they were cited for follow below the table since inclusion in the table itself is impractical.

Name Rank NS no. Date of action Unit Service
Arm
Selvan, Vasudevan [a] Sgt 001 20 Feb 2002 15 Sqn SAAF
Lechoenyo, Solomon Sehularo MMM [b] Lt Col 015 22 Mar 2013 5 SFR SA Army
F Sgt Vasudevan Selvan NS

Note 1:   denotes a posthumous award.

Actions cited for[edit]

  1. ^ Selvan, Vasudevan – Awarded for his action in saving the life of a SANDF Special Forces Officer during Operation FIBRE while stationed in Bujumbura, Burundi.
  2. ^ Lechoenyo, Solomon Sehularo – Awarded for actions during the Battle of Bangui in the Central African Republic from 22 to 24 March 2013.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]