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Updated: November 2007
© Arthur Radburn


When the Bophuthatswana homeland became independent in December 1977, it established its own civil honours, which became obsolete when Bophuthatswana was reincorporated into the Republic of South Africa in April 1994.


[Military division?]
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.

• Grand Cross (1977-92) - for heads of state and prime ministers.
• Grand Commander
• Commander - with separate civil and military insignia?
• Officer
• Member (1992-94)
• Medal (1992-94)

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?
   Thanks to Steve Chambers for information about the different ribbons and badges.

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 red-enamelled gold cross of spear-points displaying the Bophuthatswana coat of arms (obverse).

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 enamelled green.

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Medal Website
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