The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has held its third Mandela medal parade with another 177 of the special commemorative medals presented to members last Friday.
All 177 are in the bronze class and are the first of class to be awarded following presentation of the Mandela medal in gold and silver to SANDF members (mostly SA Military Health Service) and civilians last December and during this year’s Armed Forces Day parade in Potchefstroom.
In addition to the Mandela medals Major General Louis Dlulane, SANDF Acting Chief of Corporate Staff, also presented 10 and 20 year service medals during the parade held at the Armscor sportsgrounds.
Forty-seven members received 20 year service medals and 16 received 10 year awards.
President Jacob Zuma, also SANDF Commander-in-Chief, officiated at the previous parades where Mandela medals were presented. By the time the final Mandela medal parade has taken place at the end of June indications are close to 10,000 medals will have been awarded in all three classes.
The medal is a new addition to the SANDF awards and medals list and was struck to commemorate the memory of Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected president of post-apartheid South Africa.
While no announcements have yet been made the remaining Mandela medal parades are expected to be in Gauteng, centring on Pretoria and surrounds with Eastern Province, where Mandela is buried in Qunu hosting at least one medal parade.