Independence Medal (Bophuthatswana)
|Awarded by the State President|
|Type||Military commemorative medal|
|Awarded for||Commemoration of the independence of Bophuthatswana|
|Status||Discontinued in 1977|
|BDF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear|
The Independence Medal was instituted by the State President of the Republic of Bophuthatswana to commemorate that country's independence on 6 December 1977. It was awarded to all ranks on the active strength of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force upon independence.
The Bophuthatswana Defence Force
The Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF) was established upon that country's independence on 6 December 1977. The Republic of Bophuthatswana ceased to exist on 27 April 1994 and the Bophuthatswana Defence Force was amalgamated with six other military forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The medal was awarded to all ranks who were on the active strength of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force upon independence, including members on detached duty from the South African Defence Force. While the medal is known to have been instituted and awarded, no warrant has yet been traced.
Order of wear
Since the Independence Medal was authorised for wear by one of the statutory forces which came to be part of the South African National Defence Force on 27 April 1994, it was accorded a position in the official South African order of precedence on that date.
- Bophuthatswana Defence Force until 26 April 1994
- Official BDF order of precedence:
- Bophuthatswana official national order of precedence:
- Preceded by the General Service Medal.
- Succeeded by the Independence Police Medal.
- South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
- Official SANDF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
The position of the Independence Medal in the order of precedence remained unchanged, as it was on 27 April 1994, when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted in April 1996 for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and again when a new series of military orders, decorations and medals was instituted in South Africa on 27 April 2003.
The Independence Medal is a gilt disk, 38 millimetres in diameter and 3 millimetres thick at the rim, displaying the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Bophuthatswana in colour on a white enameled background.
The reverse shows the face of a leopard over the inscription "6-12-77", the date of Bophuthatswana's independence.
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with a 3 millimetres wide red band, an 8 millimetres wide cobalt blue band, a 4 millimetres wide dark yellow (cadmium) band, repeated in reverse order and separated by a 2 millimetres wide green band. Cobalt blue and cadmium are the principal colours of the national flag of Bophuthatswana.
Conferment of the Independence Medal was discontinued in 1977.
- South African Medal Website - Bophuthatswana Defence Force (Accessed 30 April 2015)
- Republic of Bophuthatswana Constitution Act, 1977
- South Africa Homeland Militaries, May 1996 (Accessed 1 May 2015)
- Peled, Alon (1998), A Question of Loyalty: Military Manpower Policy in Multiethnic States, Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 50f, ISBN 0-8014-3239-1
- Warrant of the President of the Republic of South Africa for the Institution of the "UNITAS MEDAL-UNITAS-MEDALJE", Gazette no. 16087 dated 25 November 1994.
- South African Medal Website - Legal aspects - Fount of Honour (Accessed 1 May 2015)
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
- Uniform: SA Army: Former Forces Medals - Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF)