Gold Decoration for Merit

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Gold Decoration for Merit
Gold Decoration for Merit.jpg
Awarded by the President
CountryYellow star on green.png  South Africa
TypeMilitary decoration for merit
EligibilityAzanian People's Liberation Army cadres
Awarded forOutstanding service and utmost devotion to duty
Campaign(s)The "struggle"
StatusDiscontinued in 2003
Post-nominalsGDM
Statistics
Established1996
APLA 1996 & SANDF post-2002 orders of wear
Next (higher)
SANDF precedence:
Next (lower)
APLA succession:
SANDF succession:
Ribbon - Gold Decoration for Merit.png
Ribbon bar

The Gold Decoration for Merit, post-nominal letters GDM, was instituted by the President of the Republic of South Africa in April 1996. It was awarded to veteran cadres of the Azanian People's Liberation Army, the military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress, for outstanding service and utmost devotion to duty during the "struggle".[1][2]

Azanian People's Liberation Army[edit]

The Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) was the para-military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). It was established in 1961 to wage an armed "struggle" against the Nationalist government inside South Africa. On 27 April 1994, the Azanian People's Liberation Army was amalgamated with six other military forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[1][3][4]

Institution[edit]

The Gold Decoration for Merit, post-nominal letters GDM, was instituted by the President of South Africa in April 1996. It is the senior award of a set of three decorations for merit, along with the Silver Medal for Merit and the Bronze Medal for Merit.[1][2][5][6]

The Azanian People's Liberation Army'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.[5]

Award criteria[edit]

The decoration could be awarded to veteran cadres of the Azanian People's Liberation Army for outstanding service and utmost devotion to duty during the "struggle".[1][5]

Order of wear[edit]

The position of the Gold Decoration for Merit in the official military and national orders of precedence was revised upon the institution of a new set of honours on 27 April 2003.[5][7]

Azanian People's Liberation Army

Star for Conspicuous Leadership (SCL) Gold Decoration for Merit (GDM) Silver Medal for Merit (SMM)

South African National Defence Force until 26 April 2003

Decoration for Merit in Gold (DMG) Gold Decoration for Merit (GDM) Van Riebeeck Medal (VRM)

South African National Defence Force from 27 April 2003

Decoration for Merit in Gold (DMG) Gold Decoration for Merit (GDM) iPhrothiya yeGolide (PG)

Description[edit]

Obverse

The Gold Decoration for Merit is a silver-gilt straight armed cross with indented ends, which fits in a circle with a diameter of 38 millimetres. The arms of the cross are in white enamel, with the Azanian People's Liberation Army emblem in a dark blue enameled roundel in the centre.[1][8]

Ribbon

The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and dark blue, with two 6 millimetres wide yellow bands in the centre, spaced 4 millimetres apart.[1][8]

Discontinuation[edit]

Conferment of the Gold Decoration for Merit was discontinued upon the institution of a new set of honours on 27 April 2003.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f South African Medal Website - Liberation armies (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  2. ^ a b South African Medal Website - Post-nominal Letters (Accessed 28 April 2015)
  3. ^ "Manifesto of Umkhonto we Sizwe". African National Congress. 16 December 1961. Archived from the original on 17 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-30.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC 72827981
  6. ^ a b 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.
  7. ^ a b Uniform: SA Army: Former Forces Medals - Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (APLA)