South African
Medal Website
South African
Honours and Awards
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Updated: May 2006
© Arthur Radburn

Venda Defence Force

The Venda Defence Force (VDF) was established in September 1982, from the military branch of the Venda National Force (VNF) which had been formed when the Venda homeland became independent in September 1979. It was incorporated into the new South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in April 1994. The VDF consisted of a small infantry formation and an air wing.

A series of decorations and medals, corresponding to the principal SA Defence Force awards of the period, was instituted for the VDF in August 1984 and February 1985. They became obsolete in April 1994.


Gallantry Cross: Gold (GCG) (1985-94)
For extreme courage or supreme bravery or valour beyond the normal call of duty.

Insignia: A gold cross pattee, depicting a gold hare's bobtail within a red circlet (obverse) and the Venda coat of arms (reverse).

Gallantry Cross: Silver (GCS) (1985-94)
For courage or bravery or valour beyond the normal call of duty.

Insignia: Same design as the GCG but in silver.

Distinguished Service Medal: Gold (1985-94)
For exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty.

Insignia: A circular gold medal displaying the letter V and two interlaced rings (obverse) and "For Distinguished Service - Kha u Fulufhedzea Mushumeni" (reverse).

Distinguished Service Medal: Silver (1985-94)
For outstanding service and devotion to duty.

Insignia: Same design as the gold medal, but in silver.

VDF Medal (1984-94)
For service of a high standard.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal, displaying an elephant's head in an open wreath (obverse) and the Venda coat of arms and the name of the medal (reverse).

General Service Medal (1985-94)
For service in defence of Venda or in the prevention or suppression of terrorism.

Insignia: A circular bronze medal depicting two crossed battle-axes in front of a traditional drum (obverse) and the Venda coat of arms (reverse).

 [G]  [S]  [B]
VDF Long Service Medal (1985-94)
For exemplary service. Awarded in three cumulative classes: Bronze after 10 years, Silver after 20 years, and Gold after 30 years.

Insignia: A circular medal displaying the Venda coat of arms (obverse) and the number of years service, in English and Shivenda (reverse).

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