Police decorations and medals
June 2009 / July 2014

Homeland and South West African police forces (3)

EACH of the ten self-governing or independent African homelands which existed within South Africa from the 1960s to 1994 had its own police force, and its own police medals. So did South West Africa, during the final years of South African administration, from 1981 to 1990.

The police forces were modeled on the SA Police, and their medals, not surprisingly, were modeled on the SAP awards of the period.

On this page : the Lebowa Police, the QwaQwa Police, and the South West Africa Police.

Lebowa Police

Lebowa Police medal ribbons
The Lebowa Police existed in the self-governing Lebowa homeland from 1984 to 1995. It had its own decorations and medals from 1990 to 1995. They were designed by Frederick Brownell.

LP Cross for Gallantry (1990-1995) — Apparently never awarded.

Insignia: An elaborate gold cross depicting two gold leopards on a red octagon (obverse) and the Lebowa coat of arms (reverse).

LP Star for Distinguished Leadership (1990-1995)

Insignia: A silver-gilt circular medal with an engrailed edge tipped with ten balls, enamelled green and displaying a ten-pointed star with a gold flame on awhite roundel (obverse), and the Lebowa coat of arms (reverse).

LP Star for Distinguished Service (1990-1995)

Insignia: A circular silver-gilt medal displaying a flame in the centre of a ten-pointed star within an engrailed border (obverse) and the Lebowa coat of arms (reverse).

LP Star for Outstanding Service (1990-1995)

Insignia: Same as the Star for Distinguished Service, but in silver.

LP Establishment Medal — Issued to founder members of the force.

Insignia: A circular silver medal depicting the LP badge (obverse) and the Lebowa coat of arms (reverse).

LP Star for Merit (1990-1995) — For 30 years service.

Insignia: A circular silver-gilt medal displaying a tree aloe in the centre of an 18-pointed star within an engrailed border (obverse) and the Lebowa coat of arms (reverse).

LP Star for Faithful Service (1990-1995) — For 20 years service.

Insignia: Same as the Star for Merit, but in silver.

LP Medal for Faithful Service (1990-1995) — For 10 years service.

Insignia: Same as the Star for Merit, but in bronze.

QwaQwa Police

QwaQwa Police medal ribbons
The QwaQwa Police (QQP) existed in the self-governing QwaQwa homeland from April 1983 to January 1995. It had a few medals, which were instituted in 1985 and became obsolete in January 1995. They were designed by WO Theresa Diedericks.

QQP Foundation Medal (1985) — Issued to founder members of the force.

Insignia: A circular gold-coloured medal bearing a triangle containing a BaSotho straw hat, a pony's head and a Sotho shield (obverse) and 'Qwa Qwa - Bo Thewa sePolesa - Stigting Polisie - 83-04-01' (reverse).

QQP Medal for Merit (1985-1995) — For 20 years service.

Insignia: A circular gold-coloured medal displaying a BaSotho straw hat and the words 'Kopano ke Matla' on a green roundel on an 8-pointed star (obverse), and the wiords 'Meriete - Merit' (reverse).

QQP Medal for Faithful Service — For 10 years service.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal displaying a BaSotho pony's head on a gold circle within a 16-pointed star on a white circle in the centre of an 8-pointed star (obverse), and "Vir Troue Diens - For Faithful Service" (reverse).

South West Africa Police

South West Africa Police medal ribbons
The original South West Africa Police (SWAP) existed from 1919 to 1939. It was reinstated in April 1981, and disbanded in 1990. A series of decorations and medals was instituted in December 1981. They were conferred by the administrator-general of the territory.

SWAP Star for Outstanding Service (SOE) (1981-1989) — Awarded for (i) particular gallantry, or (ii) exceptional resourcefulness, leadership or sense of responsibility.

Insignia: A red-enamelled gilt Maltese cross, depicting Fort Franke on a roundel encircled by aloe leaves (obverse) and the SWAP badge (reverse). It was worn on a neck ribbon or a gold ceremonial collar.

SWAP Star for Distinguished Service (SOO) (1981-1989) — For (i) particularly meritorious or exemplary service, or, until 1986, (ii) 30 years service.

Insignia: A circular blue-enamelled medal depicting the Ouden Bogenfels rock formation on a blue roundel on a 22-pointed star (obverse), and the SWAP badge (reverse).

Medal for the Establishment of the SWA Police (1981) — Issued to the founder members of the force in 1981.

Insignia: An 11-pointed multi-rayed gilded star depicting the Needle Rock (obverse) and the SWAP badge (reverse).

SWAP Star for Merit(1986-1989) — For 30 years service.

Insignia: An elaborate gilt 8-armed Maltese cross displaying the Reiterdenkmal statue on a roundel framed by blue and red rays (obverse) and the SWAP badge (reverse). Its ribbon is silver with a red centre stripe (but was originally gazetted as red with a silver centre stripe).

SWAP Star for Faithful Service (1981-1989) — For 20 years service. A clasp could be added after 40 years service.

Insignia: An irregularly-shaped oblong silver medal depicting the sun shining down on sand dunes with a Welwitschia plant in the foreground (obverse) and the SWAP badge (reverse).

SWAP Medal for Faithful Service (1981-1989) — For 10 years service.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal depicting a similar scene to the Star for Faithful Service.

References :
  • South West Africa Official Gazette 4558 (04.12.1981) and 5181 (15.03.1986).
  • King, T.; Gallantry Awards of the South African Police 1913-1994 (2000).
  • Monick, S.; Awards of the South African Uniformed Public Services (1988).
  • Parsons, Dave : personal communication about Lebowa Police ribbons.
 
© Arthur Radburn
 
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