Distinguished Service Medal, Silver
|Distinguished Service Medal, Silver|
|Awarded by the President|
|Type||Military decoration for merit|
|Awarded for||Outstanding service and devotion to duty|
|Status||Discontinued in 1994|
|VDF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear|
The Distinguished Service Medal, Silver was instituted by the President of the Republic of Venda in 1985, for award to all ranks for outstanding service and devotion to duty.
The Venda Defence Force
The 900 member Venda Defence Force (VDF) was established upon that country's independence on 13 September 1979. The Republic of Venda ceased to exist on 27 April 1994 and the Venda Defence Force was amalgamated with six other military forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The Distinguished Service Medal, Silver was instituted by the President of Venda in 1985. It is the middle award of a set of three decorations for merit, along with the Distinguished Service Medal, Gold and the Venda Defence Force Medal.
Venda's military decorations and medals were modeled on those of the Republic of South Africa and these three decorations are the approximate equivalents of, respectively, the Southern Cross Decoration and Pro Merito Decoration, the Southern Cross Medal (1975) and Pro Merito Medal (1975), and the Military Merit Medal.
Order of wear
Since the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver was authorised for wear by one of the statutory forces which came to be part of the South African National Defence Force on 27 April 1994, it was accorded a position in the official South African order of precedence on that date.
- Venda Defence Force until 26 April 1994
- Official VDF order of precedence:
- Venda official national order of precedence:
- South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
- Official SANDF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
- Preceded by the KwaZulu Police Star for Outstanding Service.
- Succeeded by the Police Star for Outstanding Service (SOE) of the Republic of Venda.
The position of the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver in the official order of precedence was revised twice after 1994, to accommodate the inclusion or institution of new decorations and medals, first in April 1996 when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and again upon the institution of a new set of honours on 27 April 2003, but it remained unchanged on both occasions.
The Distinguished Service Medal, Silver is, in effect, Venda's equivalent of the South African Southern Cross Medal (1975) and Pro Merito Medal (1975). It would appear, therefore, as though the position of the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver, instituted in 1985, in the official order of precedence was allocated in error. According to their dates of institution, it should have taken precedence after the Pro Merito Medal (1975) and not after the Pro Merito Medal (1967). Its correct position in the order of wear would therefore be after Bophuthatswana's Defence Force Merit Medal of 1982 and before Ciskei's Sandile Medal of 1988.
The reverse displays the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Venda and, around the perimeter beneath, the words "MENDELE WA TSHUVELO KWAYO".
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with a 3 millimetres wide green band, a 2 millimetres wide brown band and a 9 millimetres wide blue band, repeated in reverse order and separated by a 4 millimetres wide white band.
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
- Republic of Venda Constitution Act, no. 9 of 1979
- South African Medal Website - Venda Defence Force (Accessed 30 April 2015)
- South Africa Homeland Militaries, May 1996 (Accessed 1 May 2015)
- Peled, Alon (1998), A Question of Loyalty: Military Manpower Policy in Multiethnic States, Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 50f, ISBN 0-8014-3239-1
- Warrant of the President of the Republic of South Africa for the Institution of the "UNITAS MEDAL-UNITAS-MEDALJE", Gazette no. 16087 dated 25 November 1994.
- Uniform: SA Army: Former Forces Medals - Venda Defence Force (BDF)