Ciskei Lieutenant Colonel’s Epaulette

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Ciskei Defence Force Lieutenant Colonel’s Rank slip-on Epaulette.

The third photo shows Colonel Jan Breytenbach and Captain Labuchagne wearing the same style of CDF Officer slip-on epaulettes. 

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.

Ciskei, with a population of only 1 million, became "independent" in 1981. The Ciskei Defence Force (CDF), consisting of about 1,000 troops, was organized into two infantry battalions, possessing one armored personnel carrier, and an air wing company with five light aircraft and four helicopters.

Ciskei's president in the early 1980s, Lennox Sebe, established an elaborate security apparatus to protect his government, but members of his family and his army, nonetheless, tried on several occasions to overthrow him. Sebe was ousted in a military coup in March 1990 and was replaced by a military council led by Brigadier Joshua Gqozo. Tensions rose as the new Ciskei government debated the reincorporation of the homeland into South Africa, and the Gqozo government was ousted in early 1994, only weeks before the historic South African national elections and the dissolution of the homelands.

Information via The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook, May 1996.

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