The Mendi Decoration for Bravery
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 spear complement the shield, which is given to visitors who come into our country from all over the world as a symbolic gesture of goodwill.
1. The 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
2. The 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 colonial wars.
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
4. 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
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