Merit Medal in Silver
|Merit Medal in Silver|
|Awarded by the President|
|Type||Military decoration for merit|
|Eligibility||Umkhonto we Sizwe cadres|
|Awarded for||Exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty|
|Status||Discontinued in 2003|
|MK 1996 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear|
The Merit Medal in Silver, post-nominal letters MMS, was instituted by the President of the Republic of South Africa in April 1996. It was awarded to veteran cadres of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the African National Congress, who had distinguished themselves during the "struggle" by exceptionally meritorious service and particular devotion to duty.
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe, abbreviated as MK, "Spear of the Nation" in isiZulu, was the para-military wing of the African National Congress (ANC). It was established on 16 December 1961, to wage an armed "struggle" against the Nationalist government inside South Africa. On 27 April 1994, Umkhonto we Sizwe was amalgamated with six other military forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The Merit Medal in Silver, post-nominal letters MMS, was instituted by the President in April 1996. It is the middle award of a set of three decorations for merit, along with the Decoration for Merit in Gold and the Merit Medal in Bronze.
Umkhonto we Sizwe's military decorations and medals were modelled on those of the South African Defence Force 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
The position of the Merit Medal in Silver in the official military and national orders of precedence was revised upon the institution of a new set of honours on 27 April 2003, but it remained unchanged.
- Umkhonto we Sizwe
- Official MK order of precedence:
- South African National Defence Force until 26 April 2003
- Official SANDF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
The Merit Medal in Silver was struck in silver, to fit in a circle 38 millimetres in diameter. It depicts the Umkhonto we Sizwe emblem in a dark blue enameled roundel, in the centre of a five-pointed starburst of radiating points.
The reverse displays the embellished pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms.
- South African Medal Website - Liberation armies (Accessed 30 April 2015)
- South African Medal Website - Post-nominal Letters (Accessed 28 April 2015)
- "Manifesto of Umkhonto we Sizwe". African National Congress. 16 December 1961. Archived from the original on 17 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-30.
- 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.
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
- Presidential Warrant by the President of the Republic of South Africa for the Institution of Honours for Bravery in the South African National Defence Force, Gazette no. 25213 dated 25 July 2003.
- Uniform: SA Army: Former Forces Medals - Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK)