Wepener Commando

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Wepener Commando
SADF era Wepener Commando emblem.jpg
Wepener Commando emblem
Country South Africa
RoleLight Infantry
SizeOne Battalion
Part ofSouth African Infantry Corps
Army Territorial Reserve

Wepener Commando was a light infantry regiment of the South African Army. It formed part of the South African Army Infantry Formation as well as the South African Territorial Reserve.



This commando was named in honour of Commandant Louw Wepener, a boer leader from the Basotho wars.[1][2]


With the Orange Free State Republic[edit]

During the Basotho Wars[edit]
During the Anglo Boer War[edit]

The commando was involved in the Anglo Boer War most notable being:

  • the battle of Biddulphberg in 1900.[3]

With the UDF[edit]

By 1902 all Commando remnants were under British military control and disarmed.

By 1912, however previous Commando members could join shooting associations.

By 1940, such commandos were under control of the National Reserve of Volunteers.

These commandos were formally reactivated by 1948.

UDF era National Reserve of Volunteers shoulder tab

With the SADF[edit]

During this era, the commando was mainly used for area force protection, search and cordones as well as stock theft control assistance to the rural police.

The unit was also used for border protection with Lesotho.

With the SANDF[edit]


This unit, along with all other Commando units was disbanded after a decision by South African President Thabo Mbeki to disband all Commando Units.[4][5] The Commando system was phased out between 2003 and 2008 “because of the role it played in the apartheid era”, according to the Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula.[6]

Unit Insignia[edit]


From Honorary Colonels To
From Commanding Officers To
1900 Commandant Paul Roux nd
From Regimental Sergeants Major To


  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20141011020928/http://www.afrikanergeskiedenis.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Louw-Wepener.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/comdt-louw-wepener-53-killed-combat-during-attack-moshesh-thaba-bosigo-free-state
  3. ^ http://www.biddulphsberg.com/anglo-boer-war-bull-anglo-boere-oorlog.html
  4. ^ Col L B van Stade, Senior Staff Officer Rationalisation, SANDF (1997). "Rationalisation in the SANDF: The Next Challenge". Institute for Security Studies. Retrieved 5 March 2015.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "About the Commando system". Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  6. ^ de Lange, Deon. "South Africa: Commandos Were 'Hostile to New SA'". Cape Argus. Retrieved 5 March 2015. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)

See also[edit]