Bophuthatswana Military School Cap Badge

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Bophuthatswana Military School Cap Badge. Both screw pins intact.

The Bophuthatswana Defence Force Military School evolved from the training wing of One Infantry Battalion, eventually to become the Military Schoolis at Military Base Molopo.

Each of the four nominally independent homelands - Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei, and Venda - maintained small defense forces that were effectively under SADF control, despite each government's claim to national sovereignty. (No country except South Africa recognized these homelands as independent countries.) The homelands were dissolved when the April 1994 elections took place, and their military forces were integrated into the new national military establishment in 1995 and 1996.

Bophuthatswana, with a population of 2.4 million, was declared "independent" in 1977. The homeland consisted of several scattered enclaves near the border with Botswana. Bophuthatswana's military, the 3,100-member Bophuthatswana Defence Force (BDF), was organized into six military regions. Its ground forces included two infantry battalions, possessing two armored personnel carriers. The BDF air wing of 150 personnel possessed three combat aircraft and two armed helicopters.

The BDF was deployed several times in the late 1980s and early 1990s to quell popular demonstrations by residents of what had been South African territory bordering the homeland, when their residential areas were incorporated into Bophuthatswana for administrative purposes. South African security forces intervened to suppress these demonstrations and at least one coup attempt against the unpopular regime of President Lucas Mangope, who had been appointed by Pretoria. Mangope was removed from office in April 1994, after BDF troops had killed at least forty people and had injured 150 more who were insisting on the right to vote in South Africa's upcoming elections, a demand that Mangope refused. Members of South African right-wing white extremist organizations arrived to support Mangope and clashed with some members of the BDF who had sided with the civilian demonstrators. The clash led to the highly publicized executions of two whites by the homeland military. The unrest ended when SADF troops arrived and placed Bophuthatswana under the control of South Africa's interim executive authority until the elections took place.

Collections: All Items, Badges & Insignia, Homelands & Other African, Inter Wars - Present Tags: Badges & Insignia, Homelands, Post WWII