South African Medals Website
South Africa, and the former homelands and South West Africa
Arthur Radburn Online since 2001
Civil orders, decorations and medals
June 2009 / July 2013
THE so-called 'TBVC states', i.e. the four homelands within South Africa which were granted independence as 'republics', had their own civil honours. They were the Transkei, Bophuthatswana, the Ciskei, and Venda. Their awards became obsolete when the homelands were reincorporated into the Republic of South Africa in 1994.
Bophuthatswana established its own civil honours when it became 'independent' in December 1977. They were used until April 1994.
Order of the Leopard (1977-1994) Awarded for services to Bophuthatswana, either in international relations or in the national public interest. Recipients included Frank Sinatra. The order originally had four classes, and was reorganised in 1992:
Insignia: The badge is an elongated 16-pointed gold or silver star depicting a leopard's face on a red-edged green roundel (obverse) and the Bophuthatswana coat of arms (reverse). The higher classes have a breast star. There was also a blue-enamelled gold convex cross, with a leopard's head on an orange-edged white centre roundel, and battle-axe heads in the angles - possibly a military division badge?
Marumo Medal: Gold (1988-1994) Awarded to civilians, police and prisons service officers, and other non-military persons, for outstanding service that contributed to the continued development and welfare of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force.
Insignia: A circular medal displaying four red spearheads arranged in a cross.
Marumo Medal: Silver (1988-1994) Awarded to non-military persons, for outstanding service that contributed meaningfully to the continued welfare of the BDF.
Insignia: Same design as the gold medal, but in silver and the spearheads are green.
The Ciskei established its own civil honours when it became 'independent' in December 1981. They became obsolete in April 1994.
Order of Indwe (1981-94) Awarded in three classes:
Insignia: An oval badge displaying a crane bird on a blue oval framed in ivory (obverse) and the Ciskei national arms (reverse).
Ciskei Decoration for Merit (CDM) (1987-94) For exceptionally distinguished service to Ciskei.
Insignia: A circular gold medal depicting the head of President Lennox Sebe (obverse) and Ntaba kaNdoda mountain (reverse). It is worn on a neck ribbon.
Ciskei Medal for Faithful Service (1987-94) For faithful and irreproachable service in the Ciskei Public Service.
Insignia: A rectangular bronze scroll displaying a blue crane bird and the name of the medal (obverse) and the Ciskei national arms (reverse).
The Transkei established its own civil honours when it became 'independent' in October 1976. They became obsolete in April 1994.
Order of Transkei (1987-94) Awarded in five classes:
Order of the Aloe (1976-94) In a single class.
Venda established its civil honours when it became 'independent' in September 1979. They became obsolete in April 1994.
Order of Thohoyandou (1979-94) For distinguished service to Venda. The order was divided into four classes:
Insignia: A green-enamelled oval shield framed by two ivory tusks and depicting a golden elephant head (obverse) and the Venda national arms (reverse). The first three classes are worn around the neck, and the fourth on the chest. The Grand Cross and Grand Commander also have a gold 8-pointed breast star displaying the badge.