Faithful Service Medal (Transkei)

Faithful Service Medal

Miniature medal in bronze instead of silver
Awarded by the State President
Country Transkei
Type Military long service medal
Eligibility All ranks
Awarded for Ten years faithful service
Status Discontinued in 1994
Established 1987
TDF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear
Next (higher)
TDF precedence:
SANDF precedence:
Next (lower)

Ribbon bar versions

The Faithful Service Medal was instituted by the State President of the Republic of Transkei in 1987, for award to all ranks as a long service medal.[1][2]

The Transkei Defence Force

The Transkei Defence Force (TDF) was established upon that country's independence on 26 October 1976. The Republic of Transkei ceased to exist on 27 April 1994 and the Transkei Defence Force was amalgamated with six other military forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[3][4][5]


The Faithful Service Medal was instituted by the State President of Transkei in 1987.[1][2][6]

Award criteria

The medal could be awarded to all ranks for ten years of long and faithful service. It is considered as Transkei's approximate equivalent of South Africa's Good Service Medal, Bronze.[7]

Other versions

Silver medal, with ribbon reversed

While only one medal is officially documented as an award for ten years service in the Transkei Defence Force, two versions are known to exist, the one in silver, as presented to recipients of the medal, and also another in bronze.[1][7][8]

It is possible that the bronze versions are proof specimens which were never officially accepted or presented, but it is equally possible that an as yet undiscovered third silver-gilt medal also exists. The same official documentation lists long service medals for the Transkei Police and Transkei Prisons for 10, 18, 20, 30 (two versions each) and 35 years service. Since no warrants have yet been traced for several decorations and medals which are known to have been instituted and likely also awarded in Transkei, and since it is unlikely that only the one long service award exists for the Transkei Defence Force while so many exist for the Transkei Police and Transkei Prisons, it can be surmised that, of the two known existing versions of this medal, the bronze was actually intended to recognise ten years faithful service and the silver, twenty years.[9]

Order of wear

Since the Faithful Service Medal 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.[7]

Transkei Defence Force until 26 April 1994

South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994

The position of the Faithful Service Medal in the order of precedence remained unchanged, as it was on 27 April 1994, when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted in April 1996 for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and again when a new series of military orders, decorations and medals was instituted in South Africa on 27 April 2003.[7]



The Faithful Service Medal is a medallion struck in silver (and bronze), 38 millimetres in diameter and 3 millimetres thick at the rim. The obverse displays the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Transkei.[9][10]


The reverse is inscribed "YENKONZO ETHEMBEKILEYO FOR FAITHFUL SERVICE" in four lines, the inscription surrounded by a laurel wreath.[9][11]

Bronze medal with third ribbon version

Three different ribbon versions are known.


Conferment of the Faithful Service Medal was discontinued when the Republic of Transkei ceased to exist on 27 April 1994.[5]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 South African Medals Website - Transkei Defence Force (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  2. 1 2 Republic of Transkei Constitution Act, 1976, Act no. 15 of 1976
  3. South Africa Homeland Militaries, May 1996 (Accessed 1 May 2015)
  4. 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
  5. 1 2 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.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  7. Uniform: SA Army: Former Forces Medals - Transkei Defence Force (TDF)
  8. 1 2 3 4 Transkei Defence Force Faithful Service Medal 10 years in bronze EF incorrect ribbon
  9. Faithful Service Medal reverse
  10. Faithful Service Medal obverse
  11. A tunic jacket with medals & insignia from the Transkei Defence Force
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