Ciskei Defence Force
|Ciskei Defence Force|
Coat of arms of Ciskei
|Service branches||1st and 2nd Battalion
|Headquarters||Jong'umsobomvu, outside King Williams Town|
|Commander-in-Chief||Brigadier General Oupa Gqozo|
|Deployed personnel||2000 (1993)|
|Budget||R99 910 000 (1993)|
|History||Military history of South Africa|
The Ciskei Defence Force (CDF) was established during March 1981 from the 141 Battalion of the South African Defence Force (SADF). It was the defence force of the Republic of Ciskei, an independent bantustan during the Apartheid era of South Africa. It functioned as part of the 21 Battalion based near Lenasia, outside Johannesburg.
In 1993 the total troop count of the CDF was 2000. The defence expenditure for Ciskei for 1991/2 was R76,883,000 and for the period of 1993/94 it was R99,910,000.
Organisation and structure
According to Dr Jakkie Cilliers the CDF consisted of the following:
- Logistic Depot: including general equipment, uniforms, daily maintenance, rations, fuel, etc.
- Maintenance and Construction Unit
- Training Centre.
One Ciskei Battalion
The battalion consisted of 900 men and were stationed at Bhisho; it consisted of:
- 3 companies of which 2 had Mamba mine-protected vehicles
- a small support company
- a large Light Workshop Troop and signals workshops which served the whole of the CDF
Two Ciskei Battalion
- 3 companies with Mamba mine-protected vehicles
- a small support company.
Situated at Bisho Airport a.k.a. Bulembu; it consisted of:
- two Shorts Skyvan light transport aircraft for paratroopers and general air transport
- three MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 helicopters
- three light fixed wing aircraft for communication flights, etc. (Cessna 150)
- two Britten-Norman Islanders for personnel and freight transport
- Piper Cub
There was a special forces/parachute company stationed at Bulembu, the core of a possible future parachute regiment. The Ciskei military band was also stationed at Bulembo and fell under the Air Wing for administrative purposes.
The CDF's auxiliary according to Dr Jakkie Cilliers  consisted of, quote:
"The CDF had semi-permanent company bases at Alice and Kama/Whittlesea. There are also Auxiliary Services for which the CDF provided training and certain administrative functions. These Services are tasked with the protection of chiefs and headmen. These forces are controlled by structures within the Council of State. There is also a decentralised medical and signals element.
The CDF was equipped for counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. The CDF had one 25 pounder field gun for ceremonial purposes and used R4/R5 assault rifles. The 7,62 mm Light Machine Gun issued was the SS-77. Other armaments included the 40 mm Multiple Grenade Launcher, 60 mm and 81 mm mortars and 7,62 mm Browning.
There were two medals awarded for service to the members of the CDF namely:
- Gavin Cawthra and Martin Navias: The Ciskei Defence Force. Jane's Intelligence Review, February 1993, 94-96.