Order of Mendi for Bravery

The Order of Mendi for Bravery is a South African honour,[1] instituted on 30 November 2003. It was originally called the "Mendi Decoration for Bravery", and was renamed as an order on 22 October 2004. Although this is primarily a civilian honour, there have been a few military awards, including a collective award to the South African Air Force and South African Navy units which rescued the passengers from a sinking ocean liner in 1991, and a collective award to SAAF units which carried out flood relief operations in Mozambique in 2001.

Order of Mendi for Bravery
Awarded by the President of South Africa
TypeNational Order
EligibilitySouth African Citizens
Awarded forActs of Bravery anywhere in the world
StatusCurrently constituted
ChancellorR Cassius Lubisi
  • Gold - OMBG
  • Silver - OMBS
  • Bronze - OMBB


The order is granted by the president of South Africa, for bravery in saving life or property. It has three classes:

  • Gold (OMBG), for conspicuous bravery.
  • Silver (OMBS), for exceptional bravery,
  • Bronze (OMBB), for outstanding bravery.


The order is named after a World War I troopship, the SS Mendi, which sank after a collision in 1917, with the loss of more than 600 (black) South African troops.


The badge of the order is oval, On the obverse is an oval African shield, depicting the Mendi with a blue crane bird flying overhead. Behind the shield are a crossed assegai and knobkierrie (war club), and the whole design is surrounded by a border decorated with lion pawprints. The reverse displays the Coat of Arms of South Africa. The ribbon is gold, dotted with outlines of lion pawprints, alternately left and right.




  • Richard Barney Lekgotla Molokoane - Gold
  • Jimmy Booysen - Silver
  • Etienne Gunter



  • Raymond Basil van Staden - Bronze - Van Staden drowned whilst trying to save the life of another person. For his selfless act, Van Staden was posthumously awarded the Order of Mendi for Bravery in Bronze


  • Elizabeth Barrett - Bronze[2] - For her courageous act of selflessness in saving 14 children from a burning house and her continued giving to vulnerable orphans and street children.
  • Russell Maphanga - Silver[2] - For his leadership in times of difficulty and brave contribution in fighting for the rights of workers and liberation of the people of South Africa.
  • Indres Elatchininathan Naidoo - Silver[2] - For his excellent contribution in the fight against the unjust laws of apartheid, often at times putting his life in danger to ensure freedom for all South Africans.
  • Shirish Nanabhai - Silver[2] - For his bravery in the struggle against apartheid and resolute determination to realise the dream of a free and democratic South Africa.
  • Reggie Vandeyar - Silver[2] - For his remarkable bravery during the struggle against apartheid and for striving for a free and democratic South Africa.

See also


  • South African Government Gazette No 25799 (2 December 2003)
  • South African Government Gazette No 26929 (25 October 2004)
  1. "The Order of Mendi for Bravery". The Presidency. Republic of South Africa. Archived from the original on 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
  2. "Media Statement by the Chancellor of the National Orders and Director-General in the Presidency, Dr Cassius Lubisi, at the Union Buildings, Pretoria". thepresidency.gov.za. The Presidency. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
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