|Awarded by the State President|
|Type||Military campaign medal|
|Awarded for||Operational service|
|Status||Discontinued in 1994|
|BDF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear|
The Nkwe Medal (Leopard medal) was instituted by the State President of the Republic of Bophuthatswana in 1990, for award to all ranks for operational service.
The Bophuthatswana Defence Force
The Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF) was established upon that country's independence on 6 December 1977. The Republic of Bophuthatswana ceased to exist on 27 April 1994 and the Bophuthatswana Defence Force was amalgamated with six other military forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Order of wear
Since the Nkwe 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.
- Bophuthatswana Defence Force until 26 April 1994
- Official BDF order of precedence:
- Bophuthatswana official national order of precedence:
- Preceded by the Police Medal for Combating Terrorism.
- Succeeded by the General Service Medal.
- South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
- Official SANDF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
The position of the Nkwe 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.
The reverse has the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Bophuthatswana with the medal number impressed below. The reverse of the suspender is undecorated.
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide, with a 4 millimetres wide red band, a 2 millimetres wide white band and a 4 millimetres wide red band, repeated and separated by a 12 millimetres wide dark yellow band in the centre.
- South African Medal Website - Bophuthatswana Defence Force (Accessed 30 April 2015)
- Republic of Bophuthatswana Constitution Act, 1977
- 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.
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
- Uniform: SA Army: Former Forces Medals - Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF)