Distinguished Gallantry Cross
|Distinguished Gallantry Cross|
|Awarded by the State President|
|Type||Military decoration for bravery|
|Awarded for||Hair-raising deeds of distinguished heroism|
|Status||Discontinued in 1994|
|BDF pre-1994 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear|
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).
The Distinguished Gallantry Cross was instituted by the State President of Bophuthatswana in 1982. It is the senior award of a set of two decorations for bravery, along with the Distinguished Gallantry Medal.
Bophuthatswana's military decorations and medals were modelled on those of the Republic of South Africa and these two decorations are the approximate equivalents of, respectively, the Louw Wepener Decoration and Louw Wepener Medal.
The decoration could be awarded to all ranks for hair-raising deeds of distinguished heroism. Only one cross was ever awarded, to General Jack Turner, for his heroic action and who was shot in the ankle, whiles over powering and disarming a rebel guard, saving President Mangope's live and other captured officials from being executed during the attempted coup, on 10 February 1988. 
Order of wear
Since the Distinguished Gallantry Cross 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 Order of the Leopard, Military Division, Commander.
- Succeeded by the Decoration for Valour in the Prisons Service.
- South African National Defence Force from 27 April 1994
- Official SANDF order of precedence:
- Official national order of precedence:
The position of the Distinguished Gallantry Cross in the official order of precedence was revised twice after 1994, to accommodate the inclusion or institution of new decorations and medals, but it remained unchanged on both occasions. These occurred in April 1996, when decorations and medals were belatedly instituted for the two former non-statutory forces, the Azanian People's Liberation Army and Umkhonto we Sizwe, and upon the institution of a new set of honours on 27 April 2003.
The Distinguished Gallantry Cross is a silver-gilt cross, 38 millimetres in diameter, with dark green enamelled arms and a double-bladed axe head between each pair of arms. In the centre is a leopard head on a red enameled roundel. The suspender is attached to the cross by another double-bladed axe head symbol.
The reverse displays the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Bophuthatswana.
The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and dark red.
Conferment of the Distinguished Gallantry Cross was discontinued when the Republic of Bophuthatswana ceased to exist on 27 April 1994.
- Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
- Republic of Bophuthatswana Constitution Act, 1977
- South African Medal Website - Bophuthatswana Defence Force (Accessed 30 April 2015)
- 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 no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
- Uniform: SA Army: Former Forces Medals - Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF)