The Decoration is awarded to South African citizens who have
performed an extraordinary act of bravery that placed their lives in
great danger, or who lost their own lives including in trying to
save the life of another person, or by saving property, in or
outside the Republic of South Africa.
This Order can be awarded in three categories:
- Category 1 = Gold
- Category 2 = Silver
- Category 3 = Bronze.
The shield, made from animal hide, particularly cattle, is
processed and woven into an oval product of a very rigid surface and
finished off with a wooden handle. The knobkierrie and the kpear
complement the khield, which is given to visitors who come into our
country from all over the world as a symbolic gesture of
SS Mendi - represents the courage of many black
South African soldiers and their fellow white officers who
drowned aboard the SS Mendi. The ship sank after
being struck and almost cut in half by the SS Darro
in the cold waters of the English Channel near the Isle of
Wight on 21 February 1917. They were on their way to France to
assist the British during the First World War.
blue crane - the flight of the blue crane in the ocean
skies above the SS Mendi symbolises the souls of the
drowned brave soldiers. The blue crane's feathers were
traditionally conferred to adorn brave warriors during
3. The green emerald - the core from
which the three pointers emerge represents the way ahead in
rendering assistance to those in need during natural disasters
and other extreme difficulties that take place from time to
time around the globe.
|The holding shape|
Lion - as a symbol of beauty, power and bravery, it is
represented by its spoors around the edges of the holding
shape. This indicates border patrols, within and beyond our
country, by dedicated and brave South Africans. The three
geographical pointers are represented by the integration of
the flowers of the bitter aloe, an indigenous South African
plant symbolic of resilience, survival and medicinal
5. Knobkierie and spear - complement the
shield as symbols of defence and honour.